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powerful and lethal and then weapons were when we did this bill in 1993. that is a problem. the time has come to address it. i will not demonize anyone. as i said before, i am willing to talk to anyone and listen to anyone. should we have a conversation about school security? yes. should we have a conversation about mental illness and the culture of violence? yes. but we cannot ignore the common denominator in all of the deadly massacres. easy access to killing machines. sandy hook is only the latest tragedy. more horrendous than anything i thought could happen in the united states of america. these massacres are happening in our shopping malls, our movie
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theaters, our businesses in our offices. in the only thing consistent and all of them is the guns. i would like to introduce one of our co-sponsors of the legislation we hope to introduce a lot with the house of representatives, the senior senator from the greek state of connecticut going -- the great state of connecticut going through a difficult time. >> thank you. let me first thank you for your leadership going back to 1993 and before when i was speaking to advocate in the state of connecticut a similar law to the one adopted here banning assault weapons. this has been a heroin, terrific week in the state of connecticut, culminating in today's moment of silence at
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9:30. the end of the week and i spent the better part of the time meeting with first responders, families, going to funerals and wakes and speaking with ordinary people of newtown and the state of connecticut. the refrain i have heard over and over again from newtown and connecticut and all the run the country is you need to do something about the guns. the nra statement today is sadly and shamefully inadequate, calling for more guns and rejecting real action against gun violence. at a defining a historic moment for our nation demanding courageous leadership, the nra has declined to step forward as a credible and constructive partner. the proposal for more armed guards in schools may be helpful
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in some instances, but it falls short of the strong, serious comprehensive action needed to stop the kind of horrific tragedy that occurred last week. many police that spoke to me on that day when we take a said that the killer was so heavily armed that they doubted they could have stopped him. the american people are demanding real change. the nra proposal fails to offer any real protection from violence. members in connecticut and around the country are writing and calling me to say that the nra does not speak for them. it was a call for action. the nra has failed to answer the call.
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we need to do something about these guns, about the assault weapons, the kind that was used in the new town tragedy. i am very proud to join and senator feinstein oppose the bill that will help put a stop to the proliferation of the assault weapons that have no purpose but to kill and maim human beings. we need to do something about the high-capacity magazines also used a in the killing at sandy hook elementary school. better background checks, more of them so the 40% not covered are in fact done. when they are done, more comprehensively and effectively. other measures relating to mental health need to be part of the solution. there is no simple single solution. we need a dialogue among people
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commited to common sense, sensible solutions. the nra will have to alter its approach if it is to be taken seriously adventurist national debate. thank you. >> let me quickly brief you on where senator blumenthal and i are. let me just indicate that the new center that will be sworn in -- center that will be sworn in in saturday said he wanted to play a major role and really help work the bill. he was absolutely dedicated to it. both of us are grateful for that. we are working with the house. we hope to have won bill that will be introduced in the house and we will have a joint press conference. yesterday president clinton said
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if there is anything he can do to help he will do it. i said, can i say this, he said, yes, go right ahead. this is a work in progress. i would like to urge anyone in the senate to call us. we would like to sit down with you and hear your ideas. we would be hopeful that you would join with us. let me end with one thing. 1993, i got a bunch of gun magazines and went through them and did a study of the state of the art of these guns then. we just we did that. i have on my desk these magazines that will show the state of the art today in 2012. i cannot tell you how much more
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sophisticated and technologically advanced these weapons are. all stemming from military weapons. there are even devices that can be put in legally that make them fully automatic. as he read the literature, you see the enormous killing power that is up there on the streets for virtually anybody to buy or obtained. >> you mentioned you have been meeting people and hearing from them. i was curious whether you thought the and are a struck an appropriate tone today. -- the and are a struck an appropriate time today. >> i think there bothas and mine may have been with the people of newtown but it was not evident in the proposals made today.
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i do not want to comment on the memories and the morning of people, which i am very respectful of the. i think today is one of sadness for me. i hope to honor the memory of those victims by what we do a denture the congress. they as much as anybody in the whole country, their families loved ones and friends are calling for action. >> can you name any new gop members who have come forward to support any kind of gun control? >> not at this time, but i have not had the opportunity to talk with them yet, either. >> i am wondering if you can elaborate a little more on what president clinton said and what you have asked him to do.
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>> he was talking about back in 1993 with the bill. interestingly enough it was introduced and passed within the year of 1993. it went into effect in 1994. he was president. the white house came alive. he was a very, very helpful and enabling the passage of that bill in the senate and the house. to have him part of the team again is really quite special for us. >> [indiscernible] >> there is not yet unanimous agreement. i do not know what is holding it up. the general belief is that this bill will be on the floor next
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week we come back. >> when you talk about the state of the art and weaponry. i do not believe a cause for any compensation of weapons already out there. other than stopping people from buying new ones, if there is already too much access, what would the fact be? >> good question and i t why for it. what we are looking for is placing these weapons under the federal firearms act, the same act that exists for automatic weapons. since there are now devices to legally make them automatic, it seems to me that it is prudent to place them under the federal firearms act. this would require they be registered have a background check. it is inconceivable after what the nra said today they do not think people who have guns should have background checks or that they should me -- they
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should be registered. we are looking at a buyback program. again, this is a work in progress. these are ideas in the development. >> do you think people who already own them would have to register? >> they would have to register the military assault style weapons. it would be put under the provisions of the federal firearms act. i am sure you can read the act and see what that is. >> 1993, democrats controlled house, senate, and the white house. given the stance today, how do you get republicans on board? how do you get to the house judiciary committee? >> look, there is no more uphill fight than this. the question is, do we fight or
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knuckle under. we are not going to knuckle under. it may take a year or two or 3. in the meantime, i believe through social media and efforts like mayor bloomberg who has announced he is launching that we need to elect people who understand and america cannot be turned into an armed camp or the safety of citizens is jeopardized by the right of a few who do not want anything to curtail their gun rights no matter how powerful those weapons are. we are just looking at one class of weapons. weapons designed to kill people in close combat and a military situations. >> there was no social media before. how does that give you an edge this time. >> i have heard from people
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interested in launching social media. this is a big fight. this is a fight the american people are going to have to stand up and stiffen the spine. you will either let the and are a takeover and dictate for the country or you will enable your representatives to vote their content -- conscience based on their need to protect schools, malls, workplaces and businesses. >> i think senator feinstein's. is profoundly important and well taken. a number of our colleagues have come up to me in the wake of the tragedy. generally grief-stricken. really affected by what they have seen and heard. feeling that we need real change.
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americans are the ones that will make it happen by speaking out. how are you going to do it? it is not the week, it is the american people who ultimately will convince the congress that the time for real change is now. the nra proposal for more armed guards and in schools may seem like a good idea, but in fact as you have heard, they are contemplating volunteers, watchdog dad's, which i think is problematic itself. raising concerns about safety, expertise. i think the american people are looking for real solutions, comprehensive proposals rather than what we heard today. i think that opens an enormous
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opportunity for all of the means and which they can express themselves. we have more technology now. there is the opportunity for more contact and influence in what comes out of the process. it may not be right away, but it will happen eventually. >> i would like to read the transcript of what happened if i can for a moment. this is the transcript compiled. jefferson county deputy seen working with this gun and leaned over the top of his car and fired four shots. he was 60 yards from the gunmen. he spun hard to the right and he momentarily thought he could hit him. seconds later he began shooting
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again at the deputy. after the exchange, at harris ran back into the building. gardner was able to get on the radio and call for assistance from another unit. shots of in the building. i need somebody in the south lot with me. later another officer fired back as the students shout out the window. according to the transcript, leaning out of a broken window on the set of double doors began shooting a rifle. he fires three rounds at him and the gun man disappears from the window. he continues as more students flee from the school. now, there were two armed law enforcement officers at the campus.
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you see what happened. 15 dead, 28 wounded. or is it 23? 23 wounded. >> students from all over the country were on the hill the other week. they were saying the metal detectors and armed guards at their schools make them feel less safe and more safe. the thing they could exacerbate the problem? >> that is l.a. subjective statement. i think that is possible. the question is, is this solving the situation? my answer is, no. what about the workplace?
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what got me into this was an incident where i think 14 people were shot in a law office up in a huge high-rise tower. does every law office have to have security? every business security? every factor or they come in and shoot have to have security? is this the answer america should become an armed camp? i do not think so. i do not think that is the american dream. >> there have been a lot of lawmakers like yourselves who have come forward after the nra and have been silent on this side of the republicans. as the disappointing the have not come forward? >> let me go back to 93. it was hard. the speaker was defeated.
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the nra went out to talk -- target people after they voted for the assault weapons legislation during which there were very critical about it. they were targeting and threatening these -- the word threaten that. i think that fear of intimidation has carried on today. i come from the biggest 8 in the union. a state where i am in sync. it takes a lot of courage for a senator -- california is better than 21 states put together. wyoming, south dakota, north dakota -- they are not. so it takes tremendous courage and backbone for people to stand up. that is the test. leaders lead it.
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we do not follow. we have had so much since the beginning of the first mass shooting in 1967. these events have proliferated along with the increased technological killing power of weapons that are on the streets. it is a big problem today. >> i might just add, this debate is really only beginning. it has only been a week since this massacre in newtown. the nra will be irrelevant because it cannot be a credible and constructive participant in this debate if they say the only acceptable solution is armed guards in schools. better school security may be part of the solution, but it also has to include a ban on
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assault weapons which have that kind of firepower that endangers everyone as well as other measures. i think the key question is going to be making america safer. that will be the challenge. ultimately, i think the ark of this debate will swing toward strong, serious proposals. the american people will not stand by idly for another newtown. >> thank you, everybody. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> arne duncan called on community leaders to step up efforts to ensure safety of in schools. these are his first remarks since last week's school shooting in newtown, conn. he also addressed access to mental health care and protecting students and teachers from violence. this is about 40 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. and please give a round of applause to the public charter
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school marching band. [applause] it is so fabulous to have all of you here today. on behalf of all of the students, teachers, administrators and parents of our community, we welcome you. we are so pleased to have many distinguished guests here this morning. secretary arne duncan is on his way, mayor gray, chancellor henderson, chief of police, our seventh councilmember alexander, and our dear friend miss amanda powell. [applause] we are thrilled to have our local and national education and safety leaders here to discuss the promise neighborhood program and how we promote safety in our schools.
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i have been a principal and excited and delighted principal in this community for 80 years. i know how hard families work a day in and day out to achieve academically support each other and the community and to make sure our children have six classrooms, said playgrounds -- safe classrooms, safe playgrounds, and save homes to welcome them. this school has been a proud a partner of the thomas neighborhood initiative. i realize some of our struggling students addressing these challenges in the class term alone was not going to be enough to help get them on the path to success and achieve what we know they are capable of in the future. we need to work with a broader
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coalition of partners to address their needs outside of the classroom, in the home, on the streets in the community. i am so thankful to our founder. [applause] for starting this hard work, they have continued the hard work over the past year. we are so appreciated -- appreciative of tracy right who has been the leading the principals council and teacher professional development efforts. now have quality partners liked aarp, jumpstart, save the children, who are serving our students and after school right now at neville thomas.
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[applause] our partnership with the promise neighborhood initiative has already begun to pay off. i am proud, extremely proud to report that last year our students made incredible strides in the core classes jumping 14 points in reading and 20 points in math on their pass exams. we are confident with the partnerships and resources available through the thomas neighborhood initiative, we will continue on the upward trajectory for years to come. before we move on to the rest of our program, we will take a moment to commemorate our fellow elementary school students and leaders in newtown, conn.
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i want to be sure it is our time. i do not have a watch with me. ok. i am waiting for 9:30. if somebody would let me know.
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please spell your head and join me in this moment of silence. t. y.. i am delighted to turn the floor over to one of our honorable guests, chancellor henderson. [applause] >> good morning, everybody. first i want to take the opportunity to welcome our
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special guests. whenever we have so many esteemed folks in our schools, we are very proud to welcome them. i want to start by actually welcoming on behalf of the person whose house we are in, our councilmember alexander from ward 7 who is here iwth us. i want to thank the mayor for being here. the new chairman of the education committee is here. let's thank him. [applause] deputy mayor for education, and jennifer leonard it. my esteemed colleague, the chief. we have powell from america's promise. i just want to thank them for all being with us today and all of you, our esteemed guests and
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sharing what i think will be an exciting moment -- morning. one week ago today, there was at a unspeakable tragedy that none of us have beentragedy that nond get out of our minds. i am comforted today in the company of view, our friends, neighbors, community members, city leaders, leaders of our country, the mayor, and other special guests. i have the honor of introducing my friend and our champion, secretary of education arne duncan. give him a hand. [applause] since he came to washington with president obama in 2009, he has been a forward thinking and caring supporter of the district.
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to the teachers and principals of this city in this country. he has helped secure millions of dollars in funding. they helped shape innovative policies, all across the country. he is a true leader, not just in time for celebration, but in times of tragedy and sorrow. yesterday, he attended the funeral of the principle of sandy hook elementary school that lost her life protecting the children of the school. ladies and gentlemen, i am proud, thankful, and privileged to introduce arne duncan. [applause]
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>> i want to thank the children for their fantastic support. please give a round of applause for the work she is doing. [applause] i think she is an amazing leader, and d.c. has come a long way and has a long way to go. with her passion in her heart, she is leading the charge. this is a bittersweet day. i think it is so important on days like this and every day, that we listen to our children. savor their innocence and applaud their unquenchable appetite. let me start today with a great news.
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we announced the winners of a new round of the promise pl neighborhood plan. it covers all parts of the community to provide comprehensive support around great schools, high-quality early learning, after-school activities, mental health services, and crime prevention. i am announcing the initiative -- [applause] they have won $25 million. [applause]
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as i always say, don't fade there. it is a little hot in here. this is not a gift. this is an investment in your collective goodwill, your collective hard work. [inaudible] i thank you, not just for the work you're doing, but what so many of you have done for years and years. it is a small token of our appreciation. it is a great job of better opportunities for young people. they have won seven partnerships with other nations. we know, as we always do, we have so many great applications.
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i just wish we had more funds to support the work going on around the country. this is the kind of business we should be in. i wish we had a lot more resources because there is great work going around so many different places. we hope that great work continues. we think it is fundamentally important. i want to congratulate you and all your partners for uniting around a common vision for the rigorous and research based approach of all young people. i applaud the community for taking a broad and comprehensive view. the hub of the efforts will be the elementary schools, middle schools, high schools. we have put together an
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extraordinary coalition of 30 partners, including city partners, public schools, hospitals, health centers, the housing authority. this kind of work around the country, more than 200 applicants applied for this round of the grant and our team would have been comfortable if we had those resources. we would provide equal access, so many communities desperate to reduce the cradle to prison pipeline with a cradle to career pipeline. the recipients today, a small town in mississippi.
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the promise neighborhood grants are important because they have the entire community engaged, and asked everyone to come together, taking responsibility for helping children. the starkly, they have not had the kind of opportunities that they need. and we want to rebuild that social contract with our nation's youth. the concept at the heart of this program is equally relevant to a much more painful conversation, one that we felt last week. in the wake of the horrific massacre, losing six dedicated educators in a matter of just a couple of minutes to a disturbed young man with access to weapons of war is forcing all of us to confront a very difficult questions.
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i don't pretend have all the answers, but i believe the world has fundamentally changed. many americans will forever remember where they were. i went to talk privately with the teachers and school staff, to attend the wake of their heroic principle. i can tell you that the sense of loss and a sense of grief is overwhelming. no child, parents, families, or communities should ever have to go through what this community is going through. they're small, brazilian, and united. we have to make sure that we learn from this awful tragedy. every community needs to appraise its value and look at if the community, parents,
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business leaders, political leaders, and schools are doing everything in their power for our nation's children. this is a collective responsibility. it is not time to point fingers. we have to reassess the number of value choices and issues like easy access to guns and limited access to mental health services. we look at the role of parents. evaluating the cultural messages to devastating costs. president obama spoke of the fact that comes as a bit of shock to parents to recognize that no matter how much you love your kids, you can't do it by yourself. the job of keeping our children safe is something we can only do together with the help of
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friends, neighbors, community, and the nation. are we doing enough to keep our children safe from harm? are we allowing our children to grow up with a world of fear? it wasn't the first school shooting. a decade ago, it happened in colorado. there have been other massacres outside of the school. in cities across america, young lives are lost because of senseless gun violence horse or rate is absolutely staggering. a child that grew up on the south side of chicago, far too many of my friends and mentors were gunned down. its cars you. i attended far too many funerals.
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parents that lost their 10-year- old, a 11-year-old. a desk that is going to be empty forever, trying to explain as a friend. nothing in my job is more difficult and has made me more aware of how adults -- not just our children, but entire communities. i am a parent of two young school-age children. we need to be having honest conversations with our kids. the worst thing to do would be to try to sweep this tragedy under the rug. we have tried to be very honest with our son and daughter. millions of kids around the country, we need to do everything we can to keep them and their friends saved because they deserve better.
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we are at the mall or before going to bed. we also help teachers and principals deal with their fears. we should never expect them to put their lives on the line. we owe it to these brave and heroic educators, just a little bit of the courage that they demonstrate. vice-president biden is convening cabinet secretaries to talk about how to reduce gun violence and prevent future mass shootings. i am a member of that group. we have a broad charge to come up with comprehensive recommendations so that communities can act upon them to address this complex and difficult problem. the president started the
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conversation by offering common sense ideas. limiting high capacity ammunition clips, and closing the gun show loophole that allows criminals to acquire guns without a background check. we also need better enforcement of existing laws. reasonable people should be able to agree on these restrictions. many of these ideas are backed by members of the nra. my good friend, the senator, he summed up the consensus as well. he said he doesn't know anyone in the sporting or hunting arena that goes out with an assault rifle. he doesn't know anyone that needs 30-round clips to go hunting. i asked and i pleaded, let's make real progress on that front
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and let's go further. let's ask, what can we do as a community? what can we expect of each other? what responsibility goes with the right to own guns? i think all of us try to imagine what we would do if that was our child or if that was our wife or sister that was one of those that gave their lives. what would we do differently? let's have a conversation about mental health. do people get access to the help that they need? are we doing enough to ensure that mentally ill individuals that pose a violent threat to schools, this is the time to come together to prove the naysayers are fundamentally wrong. we have no choice but to do everything in our power to make our schools and our community a
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safe haven. when the american people put their mind to something, we have tremendous faith that we will see real change. i believe communities can and will reaffirm the sacred trust of keeping all of our children safe. the coming weeks, i plan on spending a lot of time visiting schools, communities, cities, suburbs, to talk about this issue. i want to talk to god owners and sport shooters to ask them what their advice is. i want to talk about values because we have common values that go far beyond the right to bear arms. we value our freedom to go to a movie theater, a house of worship, to do what we want to do so long as we're not compromising the freedom of others. we value the right to live our
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daily lives. last week, the lives of 26 people were cut short because one historic young man -- i can't help but wonder what would happen if he did not have access to those guns. maybe he would be punching his pillow. there would still be 26 families that are preparing to celebrate the holidays. unfortunately, it is too late for that. but it is not too late for america. thank you. [applause] >> is now my pleasure to introduce my boss, the mayor of the city.
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[applause] >> thank you very much and good morning. let me say how much i appreciate the secretary being here with us today. it has been an extraordinary help to the district of columbia. he has spent an enormous amount of time with us in the city working at around our educational goals and desires and outcomes. i also want to thank the secretary for the eloquence of the spoken words about the challenges that we face. hopefully we will turn that energy from occurring.
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i want to commend the president and vice president biden for working on this issue. there are obvious ones like getting assault weapons. and the question is, what will we do? secretary, thank you, and thank the president for supporting us. [applause] i want to recognize the council members that have joined us today. and the council member that within the last 24 hours, the chair of the education committee. both are experienced and are very committed to the district. thank you for being here.
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to the folks that have joined us, our deputy mayor that has a daunting responsibility of health and human services, and who has enormous experience working with children, especially early childhood. the deputy mayor for education, we appreciate you stepping up. our chair that leaves the child and family services committee. we got a glowing report just the other day with the progress we are making.
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it wasn't long ago that we had children in foster care in the city. the number is down to just under 1500. the most important thing is we are bringing about permanence in the lives of children in the district of columbia. thank you for what you do. to the outstanding chief of police who has done such an extraordinary job, we're just a matter of days from the end of the year, and it is exciting to be able to have the lowest number in the district of columbia.
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back in the early 90s, we were turned not so glowingly, obviously. we have 4500 homicides. today, we have about seven days ago and we are at 82. we're going in the right direction. we are on course to bring that down. that is why what you heard earlier is so important also. and frankly, we could of had a similar one at earlier this year. they were ready to shoot up the place, but thanks to the
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heroism of the operations man there, he was wounded in the course of that but prevented this man. the message is starkly before us, and we need to heed the message that we heard this morning, and we need to do whatever we can to get guns off the streets. we need to get them out of the hands of desperadoes. and those doing such an extraordinary job, i am delighted where she is. she not only brings expertise, but her heart. you only need to talk with her a few minutes could get to understand how much she loves children.
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from the 45,000-50,000 kids, chancellor, thank you for what you do every day. today, i guess the news is somewhat anticlimactic. what does one say after that? i wish i had another $25 million to match that, mr. secretary. but we are delighted to be able to be the recipient of such a grant. i think that it demonstrates the faith that the city is on a correct path to be able to eliminate the conditions that lead to poverty. there are other people want to mention.
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thaten't been to a meeting she has not that bad. -- been at. thank you so much for your devotion to the district of columbia. they have been a real force in this effort. and a veteran of the d.c. government. and continued on with that service, now working as the staff leader. it is fitting for us to be here because the school has made extraordinary progress.
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in the last couple of years, we have seen the math scores increased by 21 points. and over a similar time, it demonstrates that even a challenge, economically and socially, our kids can learn and chief, and it starts with our own optimism and believe that those students can achieve. thank you for being able to show the way. i want to applaud the five promises and to generations model. we're not going to talk at length about the promises, but it includes making sure our children have a healthy start, that they are caring adults,
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that they have safe spaces where they can learn and play every day. we received an effective education. all of us have the opportunity to give back and recognize that important goal. this model is also a holistic and collaborative model as well, bringing together the kinds of services that behalf secretary mentioned earlier and the kinds of services in order to be able to supplement and augment whatever adjective one wants to use. one of those things that i happen to be, i will regalia with my own involvement in early childhood education. when i was on the council, i was joined by my colleagues, council members alexander, being able to
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approve legislation. i have had the opportunity to continue with that and make the investment that moves us along. i think we now have the most robust childhood education program in america. we have a seat for every child, we just have to get the distribution rights. immediately adjacent, we have a program that we officially opened this last summer, is served 175 children ages 4 and under. 70 or 80 children that are before kindergarten, another 60, 70, 80 infants and toddlers. if we get that right and we recognize that, there is nothing
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magical about five years of age at a point where children begin school, recognizing it as somebody's idea of where things should began and recognizing it is far past the developmental point that we should be intervening in a formal way. we will start to realize we can influence the outcome is educationally and developmentally. we're going to continue with that and my goal is to be able to see the point where any family that wants how their child in a program, in respect of of how young that child may be, that opportunity is available. if i can get a fetus into a program, i would absolutely do that. we call led prenatal care, we just don't call it an educational program.
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as part of what we're doing in this community, we are building a new health clinic. it will be a medical home not only for those that need health care and early intervention, but for those expecting children and need that kind of early intervention. again, this grant provides an opportunity to continue to organize a community that is deserving and needy these kind of interventions, bringing together these services that plan important role in the lives of our families and the lives of our children. let me thank the secretary of education, the department of education, all of those responsible. we think the way is paved not only to make the best use of dollars, but to develop best practices that can be replicated in other parts of the country.
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with that said, let me introduce a good friend to the district of columbia for many more years than his current capacity. he is a committed person who is with the department of education. the assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement, a lofty title in and of itself, please join me in welcoming glenn shelton. [applause] >> the morning. first, let me say that the mayor said it correctly. i do have to say thank you to the people on this stage.
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it is not often i get to be onstage with so many of my heroes. people that have conviction and act on that conviction, who put what is right forward and who are willing to change whatever comes as a consequence. i see ty henderson, the mayor, the of police, the secretary. -- the chief of police and the secretary. they are an example for us. the secretary said it correctly. this is not a gift. [applause] >> the white house and congress talk about the fiscal cleft
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negotiations followed by president obama's nomination of john kerry for secretary of state and senate republicans on the recent state department report. and later, the national rifle association's first briefing since the elementary school shooting and reaction from senate democrats. >> i think there is no idea and it was a confession of politics that created -- the spectrum was from the far left to the far right. there was no agenda. that we are somehow the midwife to public policy was absurd. if our content was affecting the
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behavior of interrogators in the field, there was a systemic problem. i suggested we try to intervene on behalf of those people. the fact that this is a television show. the fact that 24 became this political football was a very valuable thing. >> how movies and television create policy making. and singer-songwriter james taylor.
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>> president obama about he would sign a bill before january to extend tax cuts for most americans. his remarks came as congress leaves washington without a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. the president met with harry reid and also spoke with the house speaker. the president said he hoped any deal would include an extension of unemployment insurance and lay the groundwork for a larger deal. this is about seven minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. for the last few weeks, i have been working with the leaders of both parties on a proposal to get our deficit under control, to avoid tax cuts -- to avoid tax hikes on the middle- class. and to make sure we can spur jobs and economic growth. a balanced proposal that cuts spending, but also ask the wealthiest americans to pay more, a proposal that will
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strengthen the middle class over the long haul, and our economy over the long haul. in the course of these negotiations, i offered to compromise with republicans in congress. i met them halfway on taxes and more than halfway on spending. today, i am still willing to get a comprehensive package done. i still believe that reducing our deficit is the right thing to do for the long-term health of our economy and the confidence of our businesses. i remain committed to working towards that goal, whether it happens all at once, or whether it happens in several different steps. but in 10 days, we face a deadline. in 10 days, under current law, tax rates are scheduled to rise on most americans.
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and even though democrats and republicans are arguing about whether those rates should go up for the wealthiest individuals, all of us, every single one of us, agrees that tax rates should not go up for the other 98% of americans, which includes 97% of small businesses. every member of congress believes that. every democrat. every republican. so there is absolutely no reason not to protect these americans from a tax hike. but the very least, let us agree right now on what we already agree on. let us get that done. i just spoke to speaker boehner and met with senator reid. i have asked congress to work on a package that prevents a tax hike on middle-class americans, protect unemployment insurance for 2 million
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americans, and lays the groundwork for further work on growth and deficit reduction. that is an achievable goal. that can get done in 10 days. once this legislation is agreed to, i expect democrats and republicans to get back to washington and have it passed both chambers. i will immediately signed it into law before january 1 of next year. averting this tax hike is not a democratic or republican responsibility. with their votes, the american people have determined that governing is a shared responsibility between both parties. in this congress, laws can only pass with support from democrats and republicans. and that means nobody gets 100% of what they want. everybody has to give a little bit in a sensible way.
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we move forward together, or we do not move forward and all. so, as we leave town for a few days to be with our families for the holidays, i hope it gives everybody some perspective. everybody can cool off. everybody can drink some eggnog and have some christmas cookies, sing some christmas carols, enjoy the company of loved ones. i would ask members of congress to think about the obligations we have to the people. think about the hardship that so many people will endure if congress does nothing at all. just as our economy is starting to recover, and we are starting to see optimistic signs -- we have seen up statistics in a range of areas, including housing. this is not the time for self- inflicted wounds, certainly not those coming from washington.
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there is so much to be done on jobs, income, education, and energy. we are a week away from one of the worst tragedies in memory. so we have got work to do on gun safety. a host of other issues. these are all challenges we can meet. these are all colleges we have to meet, if we want our kids to grow up in america that is full of opportunity and possibility, as much opportunity and possibility that our parents and our grandparents left for us. but we are only going to be able to do it together. we are going to have to find some common ground. the challenge we have got right now is that the american people are a lot more sensible and a lot more thoughtful, and much more willing to compromise and give and sacrifice and act responsibly, than their elected
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representatives are. that is a problem. there is a mismatch between how everybody else is thinking about these problems, democrats and republicans up side of this town, and how folks are acting here. we have to get the aligned. and we only have 10 days to do that. i hope every member of congress is thinking about that. nobody can get 100% of what they want. this is not simply a contest between parties in terms of who looks good and who does not. there are real world consequences to what we do here. i want next year to be a year of strong economic growth. i want next year to be a year in which more jobs are created, and more businesses are started, and we are making progress on all the challenges we have out there, some of which we do not
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have as much control over as we do in terms of shaping a sensible budget. this is something within our capacity to solve. it does not take that much work. we just have to do the right thing. so call me an optimist, but i actually still think we can get it done. with that, i want to wish every american a merry christmas. and because we did not get this done, i will see you next week. >> after speaking with president obama, the house speaker released a statement through a spokesman saying it is time for the democrat-run senate to act
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and he would return, ready to find a solution that can pass both houses of congress. he also spoke to reporters earlier this morning about why his plan the legislation was told thursday evening. when asked how to solve the fiscal problems, he said, god only knows. he is followed by nancy pelosi and other democratic leaders. >> the house did not take up the tax bill last night because we did not have the votes to pass. it is not the outcome that i wanted. was the will of the house. unless the president and congress take action, tax rates will go up on every american taxpayer and devastating defense cuts will go into effect in 10 days. the house has already passed
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bills addressing the fiscal cliff. we passed a bill replacing the president's sequestered with irresponsible spending cuts. we did that last may. we passed a bill to stop all the tax hikes on the american people scheduled to take effect january 1, and we did that august 1. and we proposed plans over and over again that democrats used to support but now will not. i do not want taxes to go up, republican do not want texas to go up. but we only when the house. democrats continued to run washington. what the president has proposed so far simply will not do anything to solve our spending problems. he wants more spending and more tax hikes that will hurt our economy. and he simply will not deal honestly with entitlement reform and the big issues facing our country. we need significant spending cuts and real tax reform to
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address our long-term debt problem and pave the way for long-term growth and real growth in jobs in our country. we will continue to work with colleagues in the house and senate on a plan that protect families and small businesses from the fiscal cliff. >> i think we saw last night yet again the next chapter in this saga of trying to resolve the situation of the fiscal cliff. it is clear that our conference has been consistent in its commitment to do something about the spending problem in washington and the mounting debt that has resulted. we stand ready to continue in dialog with this president to actually fix the problem. i hope that we see that our colleagues on the other side of the capitol can do likewise to get serious to address the real problem of spending so that we
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can get on about the business of growing economy and getting people back to work. >> a lot of the arguments that you made [inaudible] [inaudible] >> the president and i had a series of conversations. i told president these were my bottom lines. the president told me his numbers, $1.30 trillion in new revenues, $850 billion in spending cuts, was his bottom line. he could not go any further. so we see a situation where, because of the political divide in the country, because of the
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divide here in washington, trying to bridge the differences has been difficult. if it were easy, i guarantee this would have been done decades before, but we have to find a way to address this significant spending problem that we have come and we need to find a way through tax reform to begin to grow our economy in a way that will create more jobs for our country. >> what is the path forward? [inaudible] are you willing to put a vote on the floor [inaudible] >> there is no senate bill that has come to the house. as you know, the senate bill had a problem and continues to sit in the senate. we do not have a senate bill. we do have a house bill that sits in the senate at extended tax rates for all americans.
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we have been waiting since august for the senate to act. if the senate wants to act on that bill, we will certainly take a look at it. >> [inaudible] >> i am interested in solving the major problems that face our country. that means house leaders, senate leaders, and the president are going to continue to have to work together to address those concerns. >> [inaudible] >> i have not given consideration to it. we have a spending problem. we have to address it. we are not going to address it by kicking the can down the road, which is what you are suggesting. >> [inaudible]
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are you quitting? >> absolutely not. i am proud of what we've done. what mr. cantor outlined last night was that the house would come back, if needed. we are prepared to come back, if needed. >> mr. speaker, it sounds like you are walking away from the talks. >> i did not say that. nobody ought to read anything into this. we have differences, but the country has been expanding problems. we have to get serious about addressing them. >> [inaudible] >> listen, the president knows i have always been able to
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deliver on any promise i have made with him. the concern that i had was that time was running short. the idea that taxes would go up on every american taxpayer i thought was wrong. trying to address the tax issue, i thought, was important to do it now, so that we do not have taxes go up on every american and hurt our economy. >> [inaudible] >> listen, there was a perception created that that vote last night was going to increase taxes. i disagree with that characterization of the bill, but that impression was out there. we had a number of our members who just really did not want to be perceived as having raised taxes. that was the real issue.
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one of my colleagues the other night had an analogy of 100 people drowning in a pool, and that he was a lifeguard. because he could not save any of them, does that mean that he should not have done anything? his point was, if i can go in there and save 99 people that are drowning, that is what i should do as a lifeguard. but the perception was out there and a lot of our members did not want to deal with it. >> [inaudible] are you willing to pass a bill [inaudible] >> we have passed a bill and is sitting in the senate. we passed a bill to deal with the sequester. what we were trying to do this week was to basically jumpstart and try to kick into gear some action by the senate to avert
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these tax increases go into effect january 1. >> with all due respect, what impact do you think pretty of the bipartisan grand bargain that you could check with president obama could have on [inaudible] >> at some point we have to address the spending problem we have, but we can now cut our way to prosperity. we need real economic growth. many believe on both sides of the aisle at the fundamental reform of our tax code will help get our economy moving faster and put more americans back to work. and more americans with tax credit. how we get there, i do not know. all i know that we are committed to working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, both sides of the capital and white house, to address this. >> last week, i ask you if you were concerned about losing the
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speakership. in light of what happened last night, if you're not concerned, should you be? >> no, i am not. you have all heard me say this. i have told my colleagues. if you do the right things every day for the right reasons, the right things will happen. while we have not been able to get the votes to avert 99.8% of the tax increases, i do not think -- they were not taking that out on me. they are dealing with a perception that somebody might accuse them of raising taxes. merry christmas, everyone. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> for weeks, we have been saying that christmas is coming and time is growing short. now christmas is upon us and there is very little time left. there is still a chance, we can reach a budget that is balanced and is fair. the president made concessions and proposed more concessions. we hope republicans will consider it and we can iron out for the differences to bring it to the floor.
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president obama fights on rates and says that he is willing to make more spending cuts. contrary to representations of his presentation that you might have heard. the republicans walk away. we thought we were closed this week, republicans decided to follow another path that led them over clef that they did not have the votes. that was then, this is now. let's go back to the negotiation table. we have no right to walk out the door with no clear path. it is time to get back on track. we must work together in a bipartisan way to create jobs,
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strengthen the middle class, reduce the deficit, and do so in a responsible way. we can and we must get the job done now. >> i thank the leader for her comments, and certainly agree with her. last night's vote showed us the resolving the challenge of the fiscal cliff cannot and will not be done with a partisan vote. it showed us that we must work together in a bipartisan way, he and that we must preclude going over the fiscal cliff, by a balanced agreement that democrats and republicans him support, the president can sign, and that can pass the senate. we should not seek taxes go up on working-class americans. we should not see doctors put a risk in terms of their delivery
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of services to seniors. we should not see the alternative minimum tax and put at risk. we need to lend confidence to our country. some years ago, he confronted partisan gridlock. newt gingrich and bill clinton got together to reach an agreement it was very controversial. newt gingrich said -- this is october 20, 1998. "i will say to each and every member of this house, unless they have a plan they think can get 218 votes over here, can pass through a filibuster in the senate, and get signed, there is no responsible vote except yes." america expects its congress to get to yes.
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we are prepared to work with the speaker and with the republican leadership. we all need to be willing to work with the president of united states to get to yes, for our country and for our constituents. now, and want to yield to my very dear friend, the assistant leader of the democratic caucus, my friend jim clyburn, from south carolina. >> think you very much, representative hoyer. last year, when the tea party republicans stymied the efforts of the deficit reduction committee that we called "the supercommittee," we said at the time that it would take a definitive election to decide the matter. november 6, the american people
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spoke. the american people spoke very clearly, and i think decisively. president obama has won all but one of the soda ash called swing states. he won a landslide victory in the electoral college, and he won the popular vote by more than 4.5 million votes. democrats in the senate added to their numbers, and won a popular vote margin of 56-44. house,e in the people's more than 1.5 million more americans voted for democrats then voted for republicans. the american people have spoken loud and clear, yet the republican leadership continues to exercise extreme partisanship, in defiance of the will of the people.
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i am hopeful that the spirit of the season will take hold over the next several days, and we can come back here after christmas with less partisan extremism, and work together to achieve honorable compromises that will arrest the widening wealth step and create more fear of violence approaches to address in our nation's most urgent charges. with that, i would like to yield to our distinguished and vice chair, from new york. >> in politics, it is not a >> in politics, it is not a zero sum game. the least, that is my belief. it ought not be. we need to work together. there is no partisan path toward a solution.
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every solution facing our nation's problems must be done in a bipartisan way. that means that neither side gets 100% of what they are looking to achieve. what we saw last night was really an abdication of the process. the president has been working in good faith with speaker boehner, continues to what to do that. it is my hope we can come back to the table and continue to work with the president to work out a solution. what we have seen is something we have observed from our side of the aisle for the last four years. the republican caucus, whether the minority or majority, refused to work with our side of the aisle. the people of this election spoke otherwise. they want to see us working together. they want to see us lead him to the 113 congress, working in a more bipartisan way.
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i would like to turn it over to the ranking member of the budget committee, an ally in the fight for the american people. >> thanks, and it is great to be here with our colleagues. this morning, speaker boehner said the following. the house did not take up the tax bill last night because we did not have the votes to pass it. it is not the outcome of wanted. the was the will of the house. that is what speaker banner said from this podium this morning. what we are doing today is calling upon the speaker to put something on the floor of the house that can pass the house. it should be a bipartisan bill, onto the floor of the house, and let the house worked its will.
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the house has said no to speaker boehner's plan b. it is time to say yes to a balanced, compromised bill. at the very least, the speaker should take up the bill the senate has already passed on a bipartisan basis, so we can do that right away. there is nothing to stop the speaker from taking up that bill tomorrow or any day. nothing in the law. nothing in the rules of the house. if he takes it up, he will allow the house to work its will on that particular bill. we call upon the speaker to allow the house to work its will, as it did last night in saying no to plan b. this house will say yes, we believe, to a bipartisan, compromise bill. we believe it will say yes to the senate-passed bill that is already pending. with that, and when to turn it
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over to our good friend and colleague. >> think you very much. i have learned in government or politics, when you say, "my way or the highway," you usually end up on the highway. republicans have abdicated their responsibility to get this done. they need to come back to washington. they need to negotiate a compromise, based on what the president put forward. it is time to get to plan c. plan c is compromise, and plan c is comprehensive. come back to washington. work on a compromise, the basis of which should be the president's compromise. every time we have offered a compromise, the republicans have gone in the other direction.
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we were here. they were there. we went this direction. they have left town. that is no way to cut a bill that is comprehensive. we urge them to return to washington and avoid the fiscal cliffs. with that, i will turn it back to our leader. >> as the speaker said last night, "the house did not take up the bill because we did not have votes to pass it. it is not the outcome that i wanted." that was not the will of the house. it may have been the will of the caucus. you do not know the will of the house until you bring the bill to the floor. i believe there would be bipartisan support for the $250,000 proposal we have as a discharge petition. i think that is why they did not bring it up. they knew how republicans would
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vote for it. any questions? >> [indiscernible] given what happened last night, is there any appetite to change the proposal, to take some things out of it that your caucus does not like? >> i think the best thing to do is to go to the table. the fastest thing to do is to bring it to the floor for consideration. and it up so we can iron out our differences. go to the table so we can iron out our differences. i believe that can be done. when the president came forward with a proposal this week, it was on the strength of how close the president and the speaker had them. the president came closer to the speaker's position, in terms of spending cuts and tax rates.
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every time we agree to changes, they go to a different field altogether. although many of us do not like every aspect of the president's proposal, and if we did, probably the republicans would reject it -- it is a compromise on both sides. that is a good place to start. i believe my colleagues will speak to that. >> if it is pretty clear you were all going to vote against plan b, speaker boehner said this was to avert going off a cliff. if these tax increases passed without a vote, and what to do you think about being so strongly against the vote? >> first of all, we are here for the middle class.
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this bill was a direct assault on the middle class. the idea that the speaker says "i am given additional tax cuts to the wealthiest in the country, while i raise taxes on the middle-class," i do not think that is a good idea. >> the bill had no chance of passage through the united states senate and was not going to be signed by the president of the united states. we were concerned that we were wasting a 72 to 120 hours at a time when the clip confronts us in just a few days, and action on behalf of working americans is essential. in order for action to occur -- that is why i referred to mr. gingrich. we have to have a bill that can
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get to the senate and be signed by the president. we did not want to waste another 96 hours, so i am pleased that this was defeated. it was defeated not on the house floor, but in the republican conference. apparently, a pretty heated conference. i would urge the speaker to again and sit with president obama and reached a compromise that will be a reasonable one, and that confront the fiscal challenge that confronts our country, which is what this has been about, and to confront doing things essential to do between now and january 2. the other aspect that needs to be addressed -- the opposition, was that a partisan bill was being put forward, a partisan
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bill that does more to give republicans a place to stand them it was legislation that would give relief to america. >> i think it is very important for us to really take a look at what was being proposed. if my reading is correct, and i am no expert on these matters, but i can tell you i read that the sequester was being postponed or gotten rid of in this proposal. by getting rid of all the deductions. by cutting food stamps. by getting rid of unemployment. this is a strange time of year
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to be making those kinds of proposals. those of the things we were objecting to. we want this to be fair and balanced, and i do not think it is fair to balance this budget are in the back of those people who can ill afford those kinds of cuts. >> taking it to the point he did, about the tax cuts in the reconciliation bill on the floor, it was a terrible combination. it is like a reverse robin hood. you are giving a $50,000 tax cut to people making over a million dollars a year, at a cost of $1,000 to middle income taxpayers, because of changes in the law that affected them. at the same time, the have a reconciliation bill that says 20 million children would have reduced nutrition and food
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benefits. and 1.4 million seniors would not have meals on wheels. the list goes on and on. when people say, why can't you come to agreement? if you want to come to agreement, you can. but if you are coming close to agreement and you start taking food out of the mouths of babies and seniors to give tax cuts to the wealthiest and tax bills to the middle class, as well as keeping hundreds of billions of dollars on the national debt, because we do not believe in government, it is hard to come to agreement. i believe there are enough republicans who do want to reach a solution. that is why we are hopeful that something can happen. >> the nra press conference -- >> we will come back to that.
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>> do you believe there are 122 republicans who are willing to vote for a deal that democrats and the president can back? and what other concessions are democrats in the house willing to put on the table? >> in return for what? >> 120 republicans. >> the package is the package. it is not about us. it is what it means to the great middle class. when we did the much talked about iraq vote, there were 86 democrats, over 140 democrats voting against. that is 60% of my caucus against what i brought to the floor. 120 is not the number.
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the number is, what does it mean to middle income families? >> the president has already met the republicans more than halfway. i think people who have been following these negotiations recognize the president has already moved remarkably over a short time. remember that he originally proposed a revenue of 1.6 trillion dollars. people who have been following the conversation now that is less revenue than proposed by the bipartisan simpson-bowles commission. the president got that from 1.6 trillion dollars to $1.20 trillion. the president has significantly increased cuts he is willing to make. that comes on top of one trillion dollars in cuts as part of the budget control out. and even higher number, if you
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look at cuts taken over the last year, including some very controversial provisions that many of us in our caucus have serious reservations about. it is indication of the fact the president is able to meet the republicans more than half way. i think the president has struck the balance. i think the speaker should bring up the bill like the. it is parents and compromise. leader pelosi did when she was speaker of the house. with a bill that dealt with the iraq war -- these are big, national moments. the full house should be able to work its will, democrats and republicans together. it is important the speaker put the good of the country above republican house caucus politics.
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>> just one more on this, because we have to go to work. >> characterized the offer is heat and the president traded last week as their bottom line. he has gone as far as he can go. >> are you talking about the next proposal? this is so out of context for me, i do not know. i think we can come to the table, iron out differences. that is how we will find everybody's bottom line. the bottom line is that the american people are working today. where is the congress? why have we not finish this task? we have had a week after week of two-day sessions. no, people are leaving. nobody knows what is going on, in terms of the schedule. we are coming to the end of the
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line, in terms of this year. we have to get it done. we have to avoid downgrading our credit rating. we have to avoid cuts to our investments in the future -- infrastructure, education. those kind of investments bring more money to the treasury. the conversation i have had with the president last night, i know he believes we must avoid the cliff, and we need to get something done. i cannot explain to anybody what the path the republicans took this week was about. how was that about? what were they trying to prove? first, they had the $250,000 that would be on the floor. i thought republicans would vote for it. that is why they pulled it.
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then, they have this $1 million plant, this $50,000 christmas gift to people making over $1 million a year, paid for by a $1,000 increase to the middle- class. when the president asked the leader, what is the mood? how you see this from your perspective? i say to him what i say to you. i do not know what their bottom line is. i do not know if they know what their bottom line is. it would be interesting for them to tell you. the bottom line is what i just described in the bill yesterday. $50,000 if you make over $1 million. if you are a senior on meals and wheels or a child who needs access to nutrition, for no sgr, which is the ticket for seniors to have access to medicare -- it is not responsible. and it is not clear to see what
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the path might lead. i still have confidence that the speaker and some in the caucus who have ideology and doctrinaire approaches, when you come to the table, you have a responsibility to legislate. try to influence the decision the best you can, but to find a solution. >> my question is about the nra. wayne lapierre called on congress to pass legislation to put armed guards in every school. do any of you think that is a good idea? >> i think it is an incredibly
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false notion to think that simply by having armed guards in our schools, somehow that will deter someone who is dead on trying to take a only the lives of other people, but themselves as well. i think it is the opposite direction the american people want us to move him. as pertains to the issue of guns and who has access to them, as well as the mental health issues we are facing -- i think we need to look at this in a more rational way. i think the way the nra is approaching this is irrational. i think the american people understand that. they were expecting a completely different response. i think what we are looking for from the nra is a more collaborative approach. what can you bring? what can you talk about that will move the country forward?
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>> i do not believe those remarks represent anywhere near a significant portion of america. i do not believe, frankly, that they represent the majority of views of responsible members of the national rifle association. the one guns to hunt. they want guns to protect their home of their house. the recommendation of an arms escalation in america is not, i think, a solution the american people believe i am very hopeful that we will go in a direction which will say that these weapons of mass killing capability will be limited. magazines will be limited. we will make sure that people who have access to dangerous
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weapons in fact are mentally healthy, to the extent that we can get there. i do not think those remarks, which i think or unfortunate, represent even the majority of his own members. i would be surprised if that were the case. this certainly do not represent the views of the overly majority of the american public. >> i was in the funeral service for a senator inouye and when those remarks were made. i did not hear them. he did say one way to stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun. escalation is not a positive force. we know this is complicated. we know that 90% of people who have been diagnosed or have a
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mental illness do not engage in violent activity. all of a sudden, we are saying it is people with mental illness responsible for this. no, they aren't. that does not mean we should not care for those with mental illness. that is why we passed the mental-health parity bill, and have, in the affordable care act, parity for mental illness. it is very important. for the nra and others to sort of shield themselves by saying it is the mentally ill, and therefore we need to have more armed cops in the schools, or more guns in the school -- will we have it on the teacher's desk?
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or, wait a minute. i have it locked up some place and go and get it? this does not make sense. we have to reduce violence. we need a reduction of violence in our society. the challenge we have in looking at mental illness, we co- sponsored legislation to build high-capacity assault magazines that enables somebody to have 30 shots instead of 10. that seems like a lot to me, but at least it gives somebody a fighting chance. to look at an assault weapons ban -- all these things are being considered. maybe and injured vietnam vet could channel the energy of our caucus. i met with his and violence community the other night. you know what it all came back to? we understand about youth violence and the rest, but you
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have to get rid of these high- performance guns. magazines. whatever you call them. i called them a clip once, adn they told me i didn't know what i was talking about. they are a magazine. we are making all these cuts in samsa, where mental-health illness is addressed. they need to be addressed, in addition to the influence on gun violence. we need to address violence in our society, in the
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glorification of it in some places. we have to address the actual issue of how do we give a fair chance. if anyone of us and everyone of you had a chance to pull that magazine out of the hands of the shooter to protect those kids, he would do it. we have the opportunity to do it not only physically, but legislatively, to take that out of the hands. you know congressman ron barbour, who was congresswoman giffords' assistant and was wounded that day. he has had 20 years of experience working in the community. he understands the gun violence issue and thinks the only way to keep the high-performance magazines out of the hands of
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people with mental health challenges is to keep them out of the hands of everyone. i look forward to reading the full statement. chris murphy came out of the funeral and this is what he twisted. he comes out of the district of newtown. "walking out of another funeral, i was handed the nra transcript, the most revolting, tone-deaf statement i have ever seen. walking out of another funeral, i was handed the nra transcript, the most revolting, tone-deaf statement i have ever seen." thank you all very much.
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>> the fiscal cliff proposals in the house and senate. the majority leader said that the house should take up legislation taken up by the senate. this is about 15 minutes.
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>> without democrat and republican votes, which means any solution will have to ask the most fortunate to pay a little bit more to reduce our deficit and insure that it does not take our nation to the brink of default. nothing that has passed the house of representatives meets that test. nothing. president obama and speaker boehner. poised to strike a grand bargain a couple of days ago. we have heard that before.
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instead of making -- instead of making our dresses about compromise, the speaker retreated to his corner and resorted to political stunts. that is done, and fell flat. it is time for the speaker and all republicans to return to the negotiating table. we have never left. it is time for republicans to work with us to find a middle ground. it is the only hope of averting the devastating impact of the fiscal cliff. the fiscal cliff needs to be avoided. in the meantime, the speaker should bring the middle class tax cuts for a vote. we know it would pass. all he has to do is let democrats vote with some republicans. it will pass. the clock is ticking until the nation goes over the fiscal cliff and taxes go up for every family. there is still time for the
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speaker to hit the brakes and avoid the cliff. we do not need a thelma and louise projection over the cliff. the senate-passed bill would protect 98% of families and 97% of small businesses from a crippling tax hikes all the speaker and the president work out an agreement. that agreement should be comprehensive. the republicans want to ensure that taxes do not go up on january 1, they should pass the senate bill. the only reason the speaker has not brought it to the floor sooner is that he knows it will pass. americans are not fooled by the speakers of phony, procedural excuses for failing to bring the bill to a vote. they expect action. let me be very plain. there is nothing presenting the speaker from presenting our bill and giving middle-class families
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certainty. this is not a game. this is not scoring political points. there will be very serious consequences for millions of families to go congress fails to compromise. there'll be a very serious consequences for our country ago congress fails to compromise. it is time for the speaker to return to the negotiating table, ready to compromise. it is time for house republicans to remember what is at stake. i repeat, $250,000, those tax cuts would pass in the house, if the speaker will let that bill come to a vote. >> the republican leader.
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>> most people are focused on what happened last night in the house. i want to focus on a press conference that congressional democrats held just a few hours earlier. here with the leaders of the democratic party here in the senate other than the president -- these are the folks with the greatest responsibility for protecting the american people from a massive tax hike coming in january. what did they do? they stood in front of the cameras and laughed. they giggled at a bunch of bad jokes and told the american people they did not plan to do anything this week. nothing. democrats in the house at about that they would not vote for this bill. the majority leader said he would ignore it. the president about he would veto it if it made it out of the senate. democrats spent all day yesterday defeated a bill that would have made current tax
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rates permanent for more than 99% of america. they laughed about it. 10 days to go until the fiscal cliff, and they laughed about it. i do not know anybody has looked at the calendar, but we are about of time here, folks. this is not funny. people's livelihoods are at stake. the u.s. economy is at stake. millions of families are counting on us to do something. tois the president's job find a solution that can pass the congress. he is the only one who can do it. this is not john boehner's problem to solve. he has done his part. he has bent over backwards. mr. president, how about rallying in your party around a solution? i have said many times before -- we cannot solve the problems we face unless or until the
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president of the united states either finds the will or develops the ability to lead. this is a moment that calls for presidential leadership. that is the way out of this. it is that simple. does anybody wonder why we keep going from crisis to crisis around here? anybody notice a pattern? this does not have to be a crisis. this is an opportunity. once again, the president ignored it. he held rallies and partisan speeches after he had been reelected. as i said yesterday, i think it is obvious that the president wants to go off the cliff. i know most of the american people do not want that. today, i am going to make an offer. with 10 days to go, we have an obligation to act on something that can pass the house and senate. if the president will not propose a, if senate democrats will not propose it, i will.
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earlier this year, the house passed a bill that extends current rates on everybody for one year. it includes instructions for expedited comprehensive tax reform next year. we could take up this house passed a bill. if the majority leader has a plan that can get 60 votes, break through the disarray in his own caucus, and build a bipartisan support, offer that as an amendment, and let's vote. let's vote on amendments from all sides. then what's the conference with the house. they have are the past a bill and reformed the tax code. why don't we take that up. ? let's get this done. it is called legislating. that is what used to in congress. democrats may be popping champagne corks about bringing down a plan b, but all their
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efforts to do so yesterday was not perfect -- protect one single tax. from a massive tax hike in a few weeks. the american people are waiting. surely we can do better than this. let's do it. i yield the floor. >> a leadership time is reserved -- the majority leader. >> mr. president, if this or not such a serious situation we face or sells, it would be laughable. can you imagine saying that we should defeat a bill that we have already defeated? we voted on the proposal at the same time we voted to pass that one protecting middle class americans. that passed the senate. giving the richest tax breaks
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that they get, the proposal they had was about $50,000 extra for each one of them. it was defeated in the senate. my friend, and he is my friend, the republican leader is struggling to find a way to blame the democrats. it is a struggle. trying to blame us for the failure of the house to pass the speakers bill -- the house is led by the republicans. the marchant there will be better for the country after the first of the year, but right now, the heat -- he controls the house by a wide margin. i served in the house. the speaker is all powerful in the house. to blame us for that travesty that took place over there, mr. president, that is pretty incredible. as i tried to say in my remarks, couldn't we at least
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protect the middle class? my friend complains that the president has not done enough. he put forward a proposal that has received criticism from democrats because he was too generous with speaker boehner. the president believes, as he said several times, both sides may have to make hard choices. the president released a balanced $2.40 trillion program. it is pretty good. it would avert the fiscal cliff, it would allow the sgr to continue for doctors, it extended unemployment benefits for people who were desperate.
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it is true there is a crisis, but it is because house republicans refuse to pass the senate-passed tax bill. that is because republicans in the house are fighting amongst themselves. the republican leader seeks to pass the house-passed bill, but we already turned that bill down. the real answer lies in the speaker who controls the house of representatives, talking to the president, and working things out. >> i would just like to add briefly -- a tax bill that originated in the house, came over to the senate -- if korff friends in the majority cannot like that version, they could call it up, and end it, and see if there is a majority in the senate for something. the time for finger-pointing it
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seems to me is about over. the american people are not interested in what are originated here or there or who is doing what. they're interested in getting a result. i was trying to be helpful in suggesting that you have a tax bill that came from the house, you have a majority here, you could take up, offer amendments, see if there is something that could achieve a majority of the senate, rather than just complaining because the house cannot pass something is today. that is not going to solve the problem. we need to find a way forward, and i hope we can in the coming week. >> i hope we can too, but this is really quite remarkable. i am told that members from the spotty went and talked to the republican caucus yesterday's saying, send us your plan b, and the democrats will take care of it.
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mr. president, we can all see what has happened. i like john boehner, but gee whiz, this is a pretty big political battering he is taking. what he should do is allow a vote in the house of representatives on a bipartisan -- bipartisan bill. democrats will vote for it, some republicans will vote for, that is what you're supposed built -- supposed to do. he is trying to pass everything with them. the majority that he has cannot agree on anything amongst themselves. bring in the democrats. that is what the country was set up that way. he wants some other method where everything is done by a slim majority. this is absolutely incredible, mr. president, and we believe that the speaker should be
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concerned. i am confident that he is, but maybe he is more concerned about his election to be returned as speaker. he should be more concerned about what will happen to the country. if he showed leadership and walked up there and said, this is the right thing for the country, we are all going to vote on this, democrats will vote for it, and republicans will vote for it, to pass something that takes us away from the fiscal cliff. this brinksmanship and this silliness that is going on over there, that you would not do in an eighth grade government election -- >> i would only add that the time for finger-pointing is gradually running out here. the american people know that we have a president, senate, and house. they are anxiously waiting to see whether we will solve this problem before the end of the year. >> president obama's nomination
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of john kerry for secretary of state is next, followed by republican senators talking to reporters about the attack in benghazi libya -- and does it, libya. -- benghazi, libya. tomorrow on "washington journal," we will look at the fiscal cliff with stephen dinan. our guest is stephen moore with "the wall street journal." then a look back at columbine shootings with david cullen. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c- span. >> as president obama begins his second term, what are the most important issues to consider in
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2013? tell us. >> kagel you are in grade 6-12, make a video about what you would like to say to the president. >> get your chance to win the grand prize of $5,000. the deadline is january 18. for more information, go to studentcam.org. >> today, president obama nominated senior massachusetts senator john kerry for secretary of state. he is a vietnam war veteran and chairman of the senate foreign lakers -- senate foreign relations committee. this is just under 10 minutes.
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>> good afternoon, everyone. you know, when i took office, our nation was engaged in two wars and al qaida was entrenched in their safe havens. many of our alliances were frayed and america's standing in the world had suffered. over the past four years, we've begun a new era of american leadership. we ended the war in iraq. we put the al qaida core on the path to defeat. and we're winding down the war in afghanistan. we've strengthened our alliances, including in asia, forged new coalitions to meet global challenges, and stood up for human dignity from north africa to the middle east to burma. we still, of course, face great challenges, but today i can say with pride that the united states is safer, stronger, and
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more respected in the world. in this work, i've been grateful for an extraordinary national security team. tom donilon has been a part of that, and i'm grateful to him. of course, one of the most important people in this whole transformation has been outstanding secretary of state, my friend, secretary hillary clinton. hillary wanted very much to be here today, but she continues to recuperate. i had a chance to talk to her earlier today, and she is in good spirits and could not be more excited about the announcement that i'm making. over the last four years, hillary's been everywhere, both in terms of her travels which we've seen her represent america in more countries than any previous secretary of state and through her tireless work to restore our global leadership. and she is looking forward to getting back to work, and i am looking forward to paying tribute to her extraordinary service in the days to come.
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today, though, i'm looking ahead to my second term. and i am very proud to announce my choice for america's next secretary of state, john kerry. in a sense, john's entire life has prepared him for this role. as the son of a foreign service officer, he has a deep respect for the men and women of the state department the role they play in advancing our interests and values, the risks that they undertake and the sacrifices that they make, along with their families. having served with valor in vietnam, he understands that we have a responsibility to use american power wisely, especially our military power. and he knows from personal experience that when we send our troops into harm's way, we must give them the sound strategy, a clear mission, and the resources that they need to get the job done. in an extraordinarily distinguished senate career, and as chairman of the foreign
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relations committee, john's played a central role in every major foreign policy debate for nearly 30 years. as we turn the page on a decade of war, he understands that we've got to harness all elements of american power and ensure that they're working together diplomatic and development, economic and political, military and intelligence, as well as the power of our values which inspire so many people around the world. as john has said, we are an exceptional nation not because we say we are, because we do exceptional things. and i'd say that one of the more exceptional things we've seen in recent decades was when john helped lead the way, along with folks like john mccain and others, to restore our diplomatic ties with vietnam. when he returned to the country where he and so many others had fought so long ago, it sent a powerful message of progress and of healing. over these many years, john's earned the respect and confidence of leaders around the world.
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he is not going to need a lot of on-the-job training. he has earned the respect and trust of his senate colleagues, democrats and republicans. i think it's fair to say that few individuals know as many presidents and prime ministers or grasp our foreign policies as firmly as john kerry. and this makes him a perfect choice to guide american diplomacy in the years ahead. on a personal level, john has been a great friend. i've appreciated john's partnership in helping to advance so many of my foreign policy priorities, including the ratification of the new start treaty. i've called on his talents and diplomatic skills on several occasions on complex challenges from sudan in south sudan to the situation in afghanistan. and each time he has been exemplary. of course, i also have to say thanks because john invited a young illinois state senator to address the democratic convention in boston. i was proud to serve with him
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on the foreign relations committee under the tutelage of joe biden. and and where we all became friends. but, of course, nothing brings two people closer together than weeks of debate prep. [laughter] john, i'm looking forward to working with you instead of debating you. finally, i want to thank teresa. as someone who came to this country as an immigrant, she understands the shining values that america represents to the world. as a former interpreter at the united nations, she appreciates how our interests can be advanced in partnership with others. teresa, thank you so much for being john's partner in this next endeavor. i have to say, you know, i think i speak for john and joe and myself, you know, we must left danny inouye's funeral, a man who exemplified the very best of the u.s. senate tradition.
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and so i know that john, it won't be easy to live the to leave the senate that you love. and i think it's fair to say that there're gonna be some great challenges ahead. an uncertain world will continue to test our nation. but even with all the challenges that we face, i have never been more confident, more optimistic that if we act with wisdom and with purpose, if we're guided by our values and we remind what binds us together as americans, the united states will continue to lead in this world for our lifetimes. so, john, i'm grateful that you've agreed to take on this new assignment. i'm confident that the senate will confirm you quickly. i guess you won't be able to actually appear and preside at the same time. [laughter] so we'll have to figure out how
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that works. but i know that you are going to be an outstanding secretary of state. thank you so much. congratulations. >> also on capitol hill, republican senators talked about a recent state department report on the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya.
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three state department officials have resigned since the report was released. senior officials testified on thursday about the attack that led to the death of u.s. ambassador chris stevens. the senators also spoke about the nomination of john kerry to be secretary of state. this is about half an hour. >> good afternoon, i am joined by other senators to comment on the tragedy surrounding benghazi. it has been more than three months after the attack that killed four americans, including the ambassador. the american people are beginning to get the answers they deserve, but there are more relevant questions that still need to be answered. the report of the state department's accountability review board is a serious and
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credible effort that identifies failures of officials and institutions in the department. several people have lost their jobs. it is a good start, but only a start. the tragedy raised other serious questions about our military, intelligence community, and perhaps most importantly the administration's so-called light footprint approach to libya. it does not provide answers to these questions because it never asked them. eight is essential for the department to conduct an accountability effort on the occasion of the worst terrorist attack in american history of
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repeated attacks on u.s. and western interests in benghazi. why were no units postured, alert, and ready to respond to what should have been a foreseeable contingency, one in which two of the four people who lost their lives were killed in the seventh hour of the attack? this raises questions that the pentagon and the defense department must consider. what greater world the we need the military to play a defense of personnel overseas, especially in the broader middle east that has been never more unsettled? what is the right military posture for forces in the region? what do we need them to do? conversations about the military and defense right now, are mostly about budgets and numbers. it is important to talk more about objectives, strategy, and policies since the attack in benghazi could represent a kind of new normal in our dangerous world.
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the defense department needs to answer these questions. i might add in the authorization bill we added authorization for 1000 additional marines to be used to protect our installations, diplomatic installations overseas. it is essential for the community to conduct a similar arb-type effort. why did it take more than a week for the eye witnesses' accounts to reach our analysts put these witnesses could have told them in minutes there was no protest at our consulate, a conclusion that in the absence of this information to took our intelligence community nearly two weeks to confirm on its own? the congress created the 9/11 commission to fix these problems. perhaps we need another round of reforms. perhaps most important
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questions that still need to be answered are after the fall of gaddafi, why did the administration not do more to support libyan friends and partners as an outcry that affiliated terrorist groups established sanctions in eastern libya? that remains the fact on the ground today. it directly implicates u.s. national security interests, and that is the real explanation of why for americans lost their lives in benghazi. a pattern of violent activity in eastern libya was well- documented for the entire year leading up to the attacks of september 11, 2012, and yet the administration did too little to support our libyan partners who were grateful for america's help in the fight for liberation who elected a pro-american government in july, who sought greater u.s. assistance to treat their wounded, train their national security forces come to secure their borders, build their democratic
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institutions, and expand the rule of law. libyans did not want al qaeda militias running amok in large parts of the country. that is the reality we now face. this is the broader failure of the administration's so-called life footprint approach toward libya. regardless of whom the president nominates to serve in his cabinet, we will continue to ask these questions and demand answers and accountability. i would like to concur with senator mccain. i thought the report was very detailed and the recommendations good and solid in terms of how to better understand the intelligence and run it, how to improve security on the ground, and there is much we can learn from this report. here is what we do know -- we know nothing about president obama before, during, and after the attack.
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they're making two movies about his use of in the bin laden rate, and he deserves that. it was well executed and the president deserves great credit for making that call. we cannot live in a world where he only gets credit no scrutiny. what did he do for the seven hours in question? we have photos of him a commanding the situation in the bin laden rate. we know very little about the role he played during the seven hours of the attack. why did the president himself as late as 25 september claimed the attack was related to a hateful video? why did he continue to suggest that this was a demonstration spawned by a video that led to a ride well beyond that was possible? that was no longer a plausible story. president know about that
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decreasing security environment? was he told about the attacks on the conflict of which he told about the 16 august cable where the investor said if he is attacked we cannot defend this place. what did the president know about the security environment in libya before the attack? during the attack, what orders did they make, why were they not carried out? and afterward, why did he pushed a story line that was misleading? as to ambassador rice, after this report, i hope the american people will understand that the story she told on 15 september was completely out of line with reality on the ground, and i believe firmly now more than ever that the story she told on five national television shows was more of a political story than informing the american people. the talking points -- who
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changed the talking points? who took out references to al qaeda? al qaeda references are all over the original report and all over the cables coming out of libya and tripoli. when she said security at the consulate was substantial, and strong, that was the furthest thing from the truth and the report verifies that. the president said she did not know anything about it. he said take it up with him. i thought that was an odd response. if you look at any of the intelligence, she would have seen a deteriorating environment.
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if you paid any attention you would have understood what the conclusions were reached in this report, that the environment was deteriorating months before, and on september 11, the last cable talks about how the militias warned the american government, "why does the american government continue to support jabril? we will not be able to provide you with viable security." that was a well-known fact in the last cable of september 11, the morning before the attack. as to secretary clinton, to those who suggest she is dodging her responsibilities because she is sick, that is inappropriate. i think secretary clinton has been ill, suffered a concussion, and she will testify. when her day to testify comes, she should testify as a sitting secretary of state.
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she needs to be asked. there was no interview in preparing this report. she needs to be asked about what she knew about the deteriorating terms dances in benghazi. the 16 august cable? was he informed about the rise of calcutta militias with that is only fair and appropriate. finally, as to funding, that is not an issue. it was said that funding was not a problem. the ranking member of the foreign office of preparations of committees made available money in iraq to help anywhere in the world in the 2012 -- it took $20 million to spend in tripoli. we added $33 million with the understanding you could use it anywhere. i worry about future funding cuts. that is something we should be aware of when we did the budget negotiations, that we cannot leave our people in a bad spot.
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on september 11, two dozen top, funding was not an issue. this was inevitable. the people on the ground were telling us we are going to get killed. they had two options. stop doing their job or just press on the best they could. if anybody knows chris stevens, the last thing in the world he would do is give up. people questioned whether he should have been there on september 11, given the security environment. if you knew him like i know him, that is the place he had to be. a place where it would make a difference. the bush administration has said many things about iraq that were not accurate. john and i pushed back when we
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needed to. we pushed back here because you cannot allow any administration to get the glory of good operations and not accept the blame that comes when things go badly. it is not that blamed that we are trying to assign to a specific person. i tried to learn. i am trying to correct. the bush administration eventually corrected failed policies. if this administration does not change their strategic view of how to engage in the middle east, or benghazis will follow. -- more benghazis will follow. there was no libyan government to outsourced security to. these militias were angry at anybody who was looking at benghazi with a critical eye at all could understand what our people on the ground were telling washington. we were outsourcing security to a nonexistent government. we were pushing the theme of leading from behind to a fault. i think is fair to say that
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president bush sometimes went into strong without thinking of the consequences. i think it is fair to say that we are taking a back seat at a time of critical need for the world without thinking about the consequences. mr. president, the strategy you are employing of trying to lead from behind is allowing the mid east to blow up before our eyes. you need to engage based on reality. the reality is iraq is falling apart. if you do not do something there soon, the same thing that happened in libya is want to happen in iraq and other places throughout the world. >> thank you. i want to also echo the comments of my colleagues. i appreciated the work done on the accountability review board report. there was substantial work done on this and we need to work on a bipartisan basis to amend the
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recommendations, as soon as we can to make sure that our facilities around the world are secure. let's make sure we remember some of the most top-line findings, that there was a failure of leadership within the state department that contributed to what happened on september 11, that the security of the consulate was grossly inadequate, and that this report the early discredits the administration's narrative almost two weeks after the attack on the consulate in saying that this was the result of a spontaneous protest in response to a heinous video. those responsive, if you think about the at what the administration said two weeks later, it was not just ambassador rice who talk about that on a sunday tv shows.
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september 18, at september 20, the president of the united states connected these attacks to the video despite clear evidence from the beginning from those who were on the ground that that was not the case. there are substantial questions that remain. the question that i have that echoes the questions of my colleagues are, we have seen with this report that already we have had one resignation from the state department, we have three that are on administrative leave. this is all at the under secretary level, and is incredibly important. one of the issues that this report finds is that there is an integration problem within the state department, of communicating, and that comes from the top leadership at the state department. it is critical we not only hear from secretary clinton, but also make sure we heard from the other deputies yesterday to make sure we understand was she aware
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of the deteriorating security situation there, why were there additional steps taken to secure that consulate, and within our intelligence community, we still need a clear accounting of the talking points. i support the effort to do and accountability review with the intelligence community. finally i would just say that we need to hold those accountable who committed this terrorist attack. we have not yet brought anyone to justice who has committed obviously murdered our ambassador and the three brave americans there with him that day. this is an important question as well, that needs to be addressed immediately, and also what investigative resources have been put forward to this? one of the things that has not been discussed is how quickly or the fbi -- i was troubled by how
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long it took the fbi to get to the scene, and we need to make sure that we are falling back to where we were before september 11 where things get stovepipe within agencies information is not being communicated, and when agencies are not working together. senator mccain pointed out an example, that there were eyewitnesses that it took days for us to get information, about what those by witnesses had seen, which would have cleared up a misrepresentation that was made about the reaction to the video from day one. i think those questions have to be answered to make sure that we prevent future attacks like this. >> there will be as we know nominations coming forward for a secretary of defense, a new director of the cia. these questions will be part of that process. they will be part of our
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obligation as our role of advice and consent. questions? >> you talked about the failure of leadership the report highlights. do you think people above should be held accountable? i know secretary clinton is leading. >> the buck always stops at the top. that is the harry truman sign. that is why these additional questions need to be answered, and those who are given the responsibility, as the secretary of the state was, as the director of the cia was, these responsibilities must be placed at the position of responsibility. being a cabinet secretary or secretary of state or secretary of defense, they have a lot of nice things would go along with
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having those jobs come, and along with those nice things like limousines and ticket -- secret service also goes the responsibility and accountability to the american people. so far, as was pointed out by my two colleagues, we have seen deputy secretaries help-- held responsibility. what did the president know? what was he doing? what did the secretary of state know before, during, and after, because the american people are clearly deceived after the murder of these four brave americans for an incredibly long period of time, and inexplicably long period of time. >> i would point out -- we should look at the organizational chart. i was looking at who was interviewed and who was not.
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we talk about people do in terms of resignation here and below them are where the administration's leads are. the questions are fair to say, when we have an issue of that importance of securing our consulate and you go up the chain of command, what was informed? was there information up the chain of command? if that did not happen, that is an important question, because in order to make a decision on what our security footprint was, these people need information, but also if that did not go up the chain of command, why were there no action is taken? it is fair to question to make sure that not only what happened within the state department, but across the agency here, this is an issue where it is important that not only was it within the secretary of state, but also the department of defense. we have made a request for chairman leaven for hearing. we made that request this morning so we can have a full
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hearing before the committee to find out why we did not have military assets in place and what the thinking was there. >> you mentioned there will be a new defense secretary, your friend and colleague. sorry, secretary of state. i was wondering if you and the other senators could reflect on the wisdom of that appointment at how easy this confirmation process coming out? >> we believe the president's by virtue of winning the election should have the right to pick people that he wants. if those individuals we do not agree with philosophically, that is not the criteria. the criteria is whether that person is qualified and will do that job that fits the responsibility they are given. we have known john kerry for
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many years. we have confidence in john kerry's ability to carry out the job. i would also like to emphasize our job is advice and consent, and the nomination process in the hearings and votes are what really matters. >> i think senator kerry was a very solid person for the president. he knows most of the world leaders. when he goes to a country he will be a known quantity. i have disagreed with him on a lot of policy choices, but i think he will be a very solid choice. about nominations, i have a good record i think of providing advice and consent. sometimes not in my political best interest. my problem with some of the names being floated for secretary of state is i did not know our country was going to be well served by people i did not
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trust. susan rice -- to get to the heart of the matter -- i did not question her character or patriotism -- i thought she was eager to tell the story that did not make a lot of sense. we cannot have that. i really do believe that not mentioning al qaeda be involved and saying that was decimated was not appropriate. i believe to tell the american people the consulate was strongly substantially secured was by all means not appropriate. i believe this is just this thing was other than a terrorist attacks was a political narrative. i want somebody to ask secretary clinton, why did you not go on on 16 september? when the ambassador said secretary clinton was not
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available because she was sick and getting grief counseling, i do not think that withstands scrutiny. i knew she is really ill now. i am curious as to how that happened. that is a big deal. remember abu ghraib? it was a complete, absolute failure of managing a jail. you had a jail flooded with prisoners and other qualified guards, and it was a national nightmare. i did not ask for rumsfeld to resign, because he is thousands of miles away, he accepted responsibility because it happened on his watch, but we learned from abu ghraib, they are stonewalling care. the are not getting the information that is available to make intelligent decisions. we do not have the cables coming from libya and back to washington on the day in question.
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we still did not have the fbi interview. the president said he would be transparent and cooperate, and the american people would learn what happened. we did not know anything about what he did. he gets angry responses and he does not explain his leadership as commander in chief, before, during, and after. that will not stand. >> your views about some of your hagel? -- snaenator hagel? >> i have known senator hagel for years. i appreciate his service in vietnam. i am concerned about many of the comments that he made and has made, like reference to a jewish lobby, which i did not believe exist. i believe a pro-israel lobby exists, and i think many of those comments and other positions that he has taken will
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be the subject of the senate armed services committee, and i will look forward to asking those questions and getting his responses. >> you mentioned the marines that would be increased for embassy security. what other measures the you think the department should use to increase that footprint and >> that is why we just asked for the hearing with the secretary of defense. >> you also mentioned the al qaeda influence in the post- gaddafi term. you think that type of infiltration into those forces sets the stage for a similar instance to happen if and when assad falls in syria? >> it depends on whether we assist or not. the syrian people are not only
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fighting against assad, but are angry against the united states. people talk about how the syrian people do not understand why we'll will not help them, and they are anchored and embittered. -- angered and embittered. that will dictate a lot of their attitude and our involvement with syria after assad goes. that will be dictated what happens in syria whether they believe we have been of assistance to them or not pick in libya, but they believe we assisted them or showed that appreciation. meanwhile, we took a hike with a light footprint and let all these things develop.
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i think it depends if we ever have the moral courage, which we are clearly lacking, and assisting the syrian people throw off the yoke of this brutal dictator. we hear again there are now cluster bombs being used. scud missiles. i ask the question that i asked secretary panetta well over a year ago, when about 7000 had been killed -- how many have to die before we're willing to intervene? how many have to die before we will establish a safe zone, get humanitarian aid to them, and arms and weapons they need? the latest evidence is that meters humanitarian aid or other assistance is getting through to the syrian resistance with any significant amount. >> this is a good question. my concern is libya is exhibit a of an overall failed strategic policy by the obama administration handling the arabs spring. dealing with what i think is the rise of islamic terrorism throughout the region. what happens when gaddafi
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failed, we allow the situation to deteriorate, and rice and clinton spoke about intervening. that is something to put in the plus column, and they pushed the administration to get involved and not let benghazi be overrun by gaddafi. happens is when you do not get involved you allow the situation to go on long car and it allows -- to go on longer and it allow s extremist groups to have a larger say. what happened in libya is the extremists lost at the ballot box, but in benghazi there was no libyan government to deal with the militia groups, pro and con, and the groups we were relying on were unreliable. the al qaeda militia groups were growing in strength. i worry about iraq. i worry that we fumbled the ball inside the 10-yard line. the surge did work. it did work.
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we have political progress and an increasingly good security environment. we have no troops in iraq today. i believe before long there will be a fight between the kurds and the arabs, and i were about our diplomats in iraq, and i think allowing syria to do it the way that has become a contagion in the region, it is a strategically important decision we make about syria because iran is watching. every day we allow assad to stand is the day the iranians believe we are less than serious about stopping their nuclear program. i'm worried about the conditions that as it exists in syria. >> [indiscernbile] your support early on for the no-fly zone. when of the individuals who also stood with you on that with senator kerry. i am wondering about your views on whether he has been a proponent of more aggressive approaches than president obama?
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>> by you on whether senator-- senator n whether e kerry not be based on differences on views. we had differences going back to 1991. i think senator kerry was good in libya. i think he should have had a much more vigorous stance toward syria. one more. >> could you comment on the actions of the house yesterday? >> i would like to see the president get off the campaign trail and sit down the leaders of the house and senate. the american people deserve us to work all together and prevent this cliff. this is already upsetting the
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markets, understandably, and i think it is time to stop the rhetoric and step together the way ronald reagan and tip o'neill did, the way clinton did with bob dole, and newt gingrich. there is a long history of this. it means people getting into a room and preventing what we all want to prevent, and if we share the same goal, there should be a way for us to reach it. i am sorry that the house yesterday was unable to pass that the resolution, which was obviously a rebuke to their leader, but hopefully over their recess, when the come back after christmas, there will be cooler heads prevail in, and the president will begin serious negotiations. thanks.
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>> coming up on c-span, the national rifle association ceo. following that, senators feinstein and blumenthal. after that, secretary arnie duncan talks about safety in schools. tomorrow on "washington journal" we look at the so- called disco cliff and other -- fiscal cliff. our guest is stephen dinan. then a look at the colombo and shootings and the recent tragedy in the newtown shootings. washington journal is live here on c-span. >> if you work for him, you
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sometimes get a generous or overbearing or cruel boss. he did not know how to apologize. many of his age and class, they are not going to apologize to someone young. he had a way of turning the tables. his version of an apology would be, your deliver good job today, but the issue was not settled. -- you did a good job today, what the issue was not settled. he always got the last word. his bodyguard pushed him into a doorway. a couple of his men were
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wounded. church hill did not like to be touched. he said, thompson, you should not have done that. >> sunday "q&a" with paul reid to complete manchester's volume "the last lion." p.m. on "q&a." >> anti-gun protesters interrupted remarks twice. the pro-gun organization also announced it is developing a national school emergency response program aimed at securing schools. it will be headed by the former fda director and arkansas
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congressman. this is half an hour. >> i am dave keane, president of the national rifle association and i would like to welcome you to begin our discussion of the topic that has been on the minds of american parents across this country. what do we do about the tragedy of the sort that struck in newtown, conn. to avoid such events in the future? like most americans, we were shocked by what happened. like all americans, we have been discussing all of the various options that are available to protect our children and, at
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this point, we would like to share our thinking with you. to that purpose, i would like to introduce wayne lapierre, our executive vice president. thank you for being with us. at the end of this conference, we will not be taking questions but next week, we will be available to any of you who are interested in talking about these or other issues of interest. contact us, please, at that point, thank you very much. wayne? >> good morning. the national rifle association, 4 million mothers, fathers, sons and daughters joined the nation in outrage, grief, and earnest
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prayer for the families of newtown, conn. who have suffered such an incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime. out of respect for the families and until the facts were known, the nra has refrained from comment. while some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectably silent. now, we must speak for the safety of our nation's children. for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one, nobody, has
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addressed the most important pressing and the immediate question we face -- how do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works? the only way to answer that question is to face the truth. politicians have laws for gun- free school zones. they issue press releases bragging about them. they post signs advertising them. in doing so, they tell every insane killer in america that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.
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how have our nation's morals gotten so far out of order? think about it -- we care about our money so we protect our banks with armed guards. american airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses, even sports stadiums are all protected by armed security. we care about our president so we protect him with armed secret service agents. members of congress work in offices surrounded by capitol police officers. yet, when it comes to our most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of the american family, our children,
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we, as a society, leave them every day utterly defenseless. and the monsters of the world know it and exploit it. that must change now. the truth is -- >> stop killing our children. we've got to end the violence. we have to stop the killing. the nra is killing our children.
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they are the perpetrators of crimes. >> the truth is, that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters, people that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can ever possibly comprehend them. they walk among us every single day. does anybody really believe that the next adam lanza not planning an attack on a school that he has already identified at this very moment?
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how many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame? from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to- wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave while provoking others to try to make their mark. a dozen more killers, 100? more? how can we possibly even guess how many? given our nation's refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill. the fact is this -- that would not begin to address the much larger more lethal criminal class, killers, robbers, rapists, gang members
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who have spread like cancer in every community across our nation. meanwhile, while that happens, federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40% to the lowest levels in a decade. so now, do to a decline and willingness to prosecute dangerous criminals, violent crime is increasing again for the first time in 19 years. add another hurricane, attack or some other natural or man-made disaster, and you've got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization. here is another dirty little
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truth that t media, try their-- the media. they try their best to conceal. there exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt, and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stokes violence against its own people. through vicious violent video games with names like bullet "storm," "and it theft auto,""mortal kombat," and "splatter house." here is one -- that is called kindergarten killers. it has been online for 10 years. how come my research staff can find it and all of yours could not or didn't want anyone to know you had found it? add another hurricane, add another natural disaster --
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we have flood-soaked sites out there. -- films out there like "american psycho." these are aired like propaganda loops every single day. 1000 music videos, and you all know this, portray life as a joke and they play murder -- portray murder as a way of life. then they all have the mayor of to call it entertainment. -- now they call it enterta inment. is that what it really is? isn't fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?
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in a race to the bottom, media conglomerate compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an even more toxic max of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty right into our homes every minute, every day, every hour, of every single year. a child growing up in america today witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18. throughout it all, to many in the national media, their corporate owners, and their stockholders, act as silent enablers if not complice it co- conspirators. rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize to gun owners.
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>> reckless behavior becoming from the nra. the nra has blood on its ads. -- ahands. the nra has blood on its hands. shame on the nra ban assault weapons now. ban on assault weapons now. stop killing our children. stop the reckless behavior of the nra. we need gun control now. >> rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonizes the gun owners, amplifies their cries for more laws, and fills the national media with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action in all that guarantees the next atrocity is only a news cycle away. the media calls semi automatic
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firearms machine guns. they claims the civilian automatic firearms are used by the military. they tell us that the 223 round is one of the most popular calibers when all of these claims are factually untrue. they don't know what they are talking about. worse, they perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban or one more law imposed on peaceful lawful people will protect us where 20,000 other laws have failed. as brave and heroic and as self- sacrificing as those teachers were in those classrooms and as prompt and professional and well trained as those police were when they responded, they were unable, through no fault of their own, and able to stop it.
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-- unable to stop it. as parents, we do everything we can to keep their children safe. is now time for us to assume responsibility for our schools. the only way, the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away or from one minute away? i can imagine the headlines, the shocking headline, they will print tomorrow.
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more guns, you will claim, is the nra answer to everything. your implication will be that guns are evil and have no place in society, much less in our schools. since when did the gun automatically become a bad word? a gun in the hands of the sixth service agent protecting our president is not a bad word. a gun in the hands of the soldier protecting the united states of america is not a bad word. when you hear your glass breaking at 3:00 a.m. and you call 911, he will not be able to pray hard enough for a gun in that hands of a good guy to get there fast enough to protect you.
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so, why is the idea of a gun could win it is used to protect the president of our country or our police, but bad when it is used to protect our children in our schools? there are kids, they are our responsibility, and it is not just our duty to protect them, it is our right to protect them. you know, five years ago, after the virginia tech tragedy, when i said we should put armed security in every school, the media call me crazy. but what if, what if, when adam lanza star shooting his way into sandy hook elementary school
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last friday he had been confronted by qualified armed security? will you at least admit it is possible that 26 of little kids 26 innocent lives might have been scared that day? is it so abhorrent that you would rather continue to rest the alternative? is the press and the political talk in washington, d.c. so consumed by fear and hatred of the nra and american gun owners that you are willing to accept a world where real resistance to evil monsters is alone, unarmed, school principal
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left to surrender her life, her life to shield those children in her care? no one, no one, regardless of personal political prejudice has the right to impose that sacrifice. ladies and gentlemen, there is no national one-size-fits-all solution to protect our children. do know that this president zeroed out school planning grants in the last budget and scrapped secure our schools policing grant in next year's budget. with all the foreign aid the united states does, with all the money in the federal budget, can't we afford to put a police officer in every single school?
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even if they did that, politicians have no business and no authority denying us the right, the ability, and the moral imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm. the national rifle association knows there are millions of qualified, active and retired police, active reserves, retired military, security professionals, certified firefighters, security professionals, rescue personnel, and -- an extraordinary core of patriotic, trained and qualified citizens to join with local school officials and police in devising a protection plan for every single school. we could deploy them to protect
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our kids now. we can immediately make america's schools safer, relying on the brave men and women in america's police forces. you all know this, everyone the country knows this -- the budgets of our local police departments are strained and the resources are severely limited. their dedication and courage is second to none and they can be deployed right now. i call on congress today to act immediately to appropriate what whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation and to do it now. to make sure that blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in january. before congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation, or anything else, as soon as our kids return to
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school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in america immediately deployed a production program-- protection program proven to work and by that i mean armed security. right now today, every school in the united states should planned meetings with parents, school administrators, teachers, local authorities and draw upon every resource out there that is available, to erect a cordon of protection around our kids right now. every school will have a different solution based on its own unique situation. every school in america needs to immediately identified, dedicate, and deploy the resources necessary to put these
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security forces in place right now. at the national rifle association, as america's preeminent trainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years, we have 11,000 police training instructors in the nra ready, willing, and uniquely qualified to help. our training programs are the most advanced in the world. that expertise must be brought to bear to protect our schools and their children now. we did it for our nation's defense industry at military installations during world war two. we did it for very young kids with air safety program that is throughout the country in schools right now. we will do it again today. the nra will bring all its knowledge, all its dedication, and all its resources to develop a model national school shield emergency response program for
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every single school in america that wants it. from armed security to building design and access control, the information technology, student and teacher training, this multifaceted program will be developed by the very best experts in the field. former congressman asa hutchinson will lead the effort as national director of the national model school shield program with a budget provided by the nra of what ever scope the task requires. his experience as a united states attorney, director of the drug enforcement agency, and undersecretary of the department of homeland security will given the knowledge and expertise to hire the most knowledgeable and credentialed experts available in the united states of america
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to get this program up and running from the first day forward. if we truly cherish our kids more than our money, more than our celebrities, more than our sports stadiums, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and that security is only available with properly trained armed good guys. under asa's leadership our experts were make this program available to the world to protect their children at school and will make that program available to every single school in america free of charge. that is a plan of action that can and will make a real positive indisputable difference in the safety of our children
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and it will start right now. there will be a lot of time to talk and debate later. this is a time, this is a day for decisive action. we cannot wait for the next unspeakable crime to happen before we act. we cannot lose precious time debating legislation that will not work. we must not allow politics or personal prejudice to divide us. we must act now for the sake of every child in america. i call on every parent, i call on every teacher, i call on every school administrator, every law enforcement officer in this country to join with us and help create a national school shield safety program to protect our children with the only positive line of defense that is tested and proven to work. now, tell you more about the
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program, i would like to introduce the head of the effort, former u.s. congressman, former u.s. attorney before the western district of arkansas and former ad minister of the u.s. drug enforcement agency, the honorable congressman, asa hutchinson. >> one of the first responsibility is a learned of homeland security was the importance of protecting our nation's critical infrastructure. there is nothing more critical to our nation's well-being that our children safety. they are this country's future and our most precious resource.
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we all understand that our children should be safe at school but it is also essential that the parents understand and have confidence in that safety. as a result of the tragedy in newtown, conn., this -- that that confidence across this nation has been shattered. assurance of school safety must be restored with a sense of urgency. that is why i am grateful that the national rifle association has asked me to lead a team of security experts to assist our schools, parents, and their communities. i took this assignment on one condition -- that my team of experts will be independent, and will be guided solely by what are the best security solutions for the safety of our children while at school. even though we are just starting
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this process, i envision this initiative will have two key elements -- first of all, it would be based on a model security plan, a comprehensive strategy for school security based upon the latest, most up- to-date, technical information from the foremost experts in their fields. this model security plan will serve as a template, a set of best practices, principals, and guidelines that every school in america can tweak as needed and tailor it to their own set of circumstances. every school and community is different. this model plan will allow every school to choose among its various components to develop a school safety strategy that fits their own unique circumstance whether it is a large urban school or a small rural schools such as we have an arkansas or anything we have in between. armed and qualified school security personnel will be one element of that plan but by no means the only element.
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if a school decides, for whatever reason, that it does not want or need armed security personnel, that is the decision to be made by the parents or the local school board at the local level. the second point i want to make is this will be a program that does not depend on massive funding from local authorities or the federal government. instead, it will make use of local volunteers serving in their own communities. my son was a volunteer with a local group called "watchdog dads" patrolled playgrounds and provided a measure of added security. president clinton initiated a program called "cops in school" but the federal response is not sufficient for today's path. whether they're retired police, retired military or rescue personnel, i think there are
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people in every community in this country it would be happy to serve if only someone ask them and gave them the training and certification is to do so. the national rifle association is the natural obvious choice to sponsor this program. their guns safety, hunter education programs have set the standard for well over a century. over the past 25 years, the eddie eagle and state program has taught over 26 million children that real guns are not toys. today child gun accidents are at the lowest levels ever recorded. school safety is a complex issue with those simple, single solution. -- with no simple, single sol ution. but i believe trained, qualified armed security is one key component among many that can provide the first line of difference, as well as the last line of defense. again, i welcome the opportunity
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to serve as vital, potentially lifesaving effort. thank you very much. >> thank you. as i indicated at the outset, this is the beginning of a serious conversation. we will not be taking questions our public affairs officer is here. we will be willing to talk to anybody beginning on monday. a text of the speech by wayne and a suction's remarks are available at nra.org. i look forward to answering your questions next week. >> next, democratic senators dianne feinstein and richard blumenthal respond to and criticize the nra's remarks. the senators also take questions
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from reporters. from capitol hill, this is 25 minutes. >> good afternoon. i am here with the senior senator from connecticut. we would like to make a few remarks and response to the national rifle association press conference this morning. this morning the nra said that they wanted to have a conversation about security. i would like to respond to that call. if school districts want to hire armed security guards, i support that. that is a decision each school district should make. many school districts already have armed guards.
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28,300 public schools, that is about one-third of all public schools have armed security staff. in fact, there were two are in the law enforcement officers who twice engaged the shooters at columbine. that did not prevent 15 from being killed and 23 wounded. copies of the investigative transcript with exactly what happened is a available at the back of the room. the blanket call to arms schools is really nothing more than a distraction. it is a delay tactic. it is a distraction from the availability of military-style assault weapons on the street, and our schools, used that malls, used at workplaces, use the movie theaters. they allow for death and destruction. it is a distraction from the large ammunition devices that
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allow shooters to expel 20, 30, 60, 100 and even more bullets. it is a distraction from how easy it is to purchase weapons at gun shows with no background checks at all. the weapons today are much more powerful and lethal and then weapons were when we did this bill in 1993. that is a problem. the time has come to address it. i will not demonize anyone. as i said before, i am willing to talk to anyone and listen to anyone. should we have a conversation about school security? yes. should we have a conversation about mental illness and the culture of violence? yes. but we cannot ignore the common denominator in all of the
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deadly massacres. easy access to killing machines. sandy hook is only the latest tragedy. more horrendous than anything i thought could happen in the united states of america. these massacres are happening in our shopping malls, our movie theaters, our businesses in our offices. in the only thing consistent and all of them is the guns. i would like to introduce one of our co-sponsors of the legislation we hope to introduce a lot with the house of representatives, the senior senator from the greek state of connecticut going -- the great state of connecticut going through a difficult time. >> thank you. let me first thank you for your leadership going back to 1993 and before when i was speaking to advocate in the state of
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connecticut a similar law to the one adopted here banning assault weapons. this has been a heroin, terrific week in the state of connecticut, culminating in today's moment of silence at 9:30. the end of the week and i spent the better part of the time meeting with first responders, families, going to funerals and wakes and speaking with ordinary people of newtown and the state of connecticut. the refrain i have heard over and over again from newtown and connecticut and all the run the country is you need to do something about the guns. the nra statement today is sadly and shamefully inadequate, calling for more guns and rejecting real action against gun violence.
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at a defining a historic moment for our nation demanding courageous leadership, the nra has declined to step forward as a credible and constructive partner. the proposal for more armed guards in schools may be helpful in some instances, but it falls short of the strong, serious comprehensive action needed to stop the kind of horrific tragedy that occurred last week. many police that spoke to me on that day when we take a said that the killer was so heavily armed that they doubted they could have stopped him. the american people are demanding real change. the nra proposal fails to offer any real protection from
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violence. members in connecticut and around the country are writing and calling me to say that the nra does not speak for them. it was a call for action. the nra has failed to answer the call. we need to do something about these guns, about the assault weapons, the kind that was used in the new town tragedy. i am very proud to join and senator feinstein oppose the bill that will help put a stop to the proliferation of the assault weapons that have no purpose but to kill and maim human beings. we need to do something about the high-capacity magazines also used a in the killing at sandy hook elementary school. better background checks, more of them so the 40% not covered are in fact done.
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when they are done, more comprehensively and effectively. other measures relating to mental health need to be part of the solution. there is no simple single solution. we need a dialogue among people commited to common sense, sensible solutions. the nra will have to alter its approach if it is to be taken seriously adventurist national debate. thank you. >> let me quickly brief you on where senator blumenthal and i are. let me just indicate that the new center that will be sworn in -- center that will be sworn in in saturday said he wanted to play a major role and really help work the bill. he was absolutely dedicated to it.
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both of us are grateful for that. we are working with the house. we hope to have won bill that will be introduced in the house and we will have a joint press conference. yesterday president clinton said if there is anything he can do to help he will do it. i said, can i say this, he said, yes, go right ahead. this is a work in progress. i would like to urge anyone in the senate to call us. we would like to sit down with you and hear your ideas. we would be hopeful that you would join with us. let me end with one thing. 1993, i got a bunch of gun
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magazines and went through them and did a study of the state of the art of these guns then. we just we did that. i have on my desk these magazines that will show the state of the art today in 2012. i cannot tell you how much more sophisticated and technologically advanced these weapons are. all stemming from military weapons. there are even devices that can be put in legally that make them fully automatic. as he read the literature, you see the enormous killing power that is up there on the streets for virtually anybody to buy or obtained. >> you mentioned you have been meeting people and hearing from them. i was curious whether you thought the and are a struck an
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appropriate tone today. -- the nra struck an appropriate time today. >> i think there bothas and mine may have been with the people of newtown but it was not evident in the proposals made today. i do not want to comment on the memories and the morning of people, which i am very respectful of the. i think today is one of sadness for me. i hope to honor the memory of those victims by what we do a denture the congress. they as much as anybody in the whole country, their families loved ones and friends are calling for action. >> can you name any new gop members who have come forward to support any kind of gun
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control? >> not at this time, but i have not had the opportunity to talk with them yet, either. >> i am wondering if you can elaborate a little more on what president clinton said and what you have asked him to do. >> he was talking about back in 1993 with the bill. interestingly enough it was introduced and passed within the year of 1993. it went into effect in 1994. he was president. the white house came alive. he was a very, very helpful and enabling the passage of that bill in the senate and the house. to have him part of the team again is really quite special for us. >> [indiscernible]
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>> there is not yet unanimous agreement. i do not know what is holding it up. the general belief is that this bill will be on the floor next week we come back. >> i do not believe a cause for any compensation of weapons already out there. other than stopping people from buying new ones, if there is already too much access, what would the fact be? >> good question and i t why for it. what we are looking for is placing these weapons under the federal firearms act, the same act that exists for automatic weapons. since there are now devices to legally make them automatic, it seems to me that it is prudent to place them under the federal firearms act.
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this would require they be registered have a background check. it is inconceivable after what the nra said today they do not think people who have guns should have background checks or that they should me -- they should be registered. we are looking at a buyback program. again, this is a work in progress. these are ideas in the development. >> do you think people who already own them would have to register? >> they would have to register the military assault style weapons. it would be put under the provisions of the federal firearms act. i am sure you can read the act and see what that is. >> 1993, democrats controlled house, senate, and the white house. given the stance today, how do you get republicans on board?
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how do you get to the house judiciary committee? >> look, there is no more uphill fight than this. the question is, do we fight or knuckle under. we are not going to knuckle under. it may take a year or two or 3. in the meantime, i believe through social media and efforts like mayor bloomberg who has announced he is launching that we need to elect people who understand and america cannot be turned into an armed camp or the safety of citizens is jeopardized by the right of a few who do not want anything to curtail their gun rights no matter how powerful those weapons are. we are just looking at one class of weapons.
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weapons designed to kill people in close combat and a military situations. >> there was no social media before. how does that give you an edge this time. >> i have heard from people interested in launching social media. this is a big fight. this is a fight the american people are going to have to stand up and stiffen the spine. you will either let the nra takeover and dictate for the country or you will enable your representatives to vote their content -- conscience based on their need to protect schools, malls, workplaces and businesses. >> i think senator feinstein's. is profoundly important and well taken. a number of our colleagues have
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come up to me in the wake of the tragedy. generally grief-stricken. really affected by what they have seen and heard. feeling that we need real change. americans are the ones that will make it happen by speaking out. how are you going to do it? it is not the week, it is the american people who ultimately will convince the congress that the time for real change is now. the nra proposal for more armed guards and in schools may seem like a good idea, but in fact as you have heard, they are contemplating volunteers, watchdog dad's, which i think is problematic itself.
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raising concerns about safety, expertise. i think the american people are looking for real solutions, comprehensive proposals rather than what we heard today. i think that opens an enormous opportunity for all of the means and which they can express themselves. we have more technology now. there is the opportunity for more contact and influence in what comes out of the process. it may not be right away, but it will happen eventually. >> i would like to read the transcript of what happened if i can for a moment. this is the transcript compiled. jefferson county deputy seen working with this gun and leaned over the top of his car
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and fired four shots. he was 60 yards from the gunmen. he spun hard to the right and he momentarily thought he could hit him. seconds later he began shooting again at the deputy. after the exchange, at harris ran back into the building. gardner was able to get on the radio and call for assistance from another unit. shots of in the building. i need somebody in the south lot with me. later another officer fired back as the students shout out the window. according to the transcript, leaning out of a broken window on the set of double doors began shooting a rifle. he fires three rounds at him and the gun man disappears from
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the window. he continues as more students flee from the school. now, there were two armed law enforcement officers at the campus. you see what happened. 15 dead, 28 wounded. or is it 23? 23 wounded. >> students from all over the country were on the hill the other week. they were saying the metal detectors and armed guards at their schools make them feel less safe and more safe. the thing they could exacerbate the problem?
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>> that is l.a. subjective statement. i think that is possible. the question is, is this solving the situation? my answer is, no. what about the workplace? what got me into this was an incident where i think 14 people were shot in a law office up in a huge high-rise tower. does every law office have to have security? every business security? every factor or they come in and shoot have to have security? is this the answer america should become an armed camp? i do not think so. i do not think that is the american dream. >> there have been a lot of lawmakers like yourselves who
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have come forward after the nra and have been silent on this side of the republicans. as the disappointing the have not come forward? >> let me go back to 93. it was hard. the speaker was defeated. the nra went out to talk -- target people after they voted for the assault weapons legislation during which there were very critical about it. they were targeting and threatening these -- the word threaten that. i think that fear of intimidation has carried on today. i come from the biggest 8 in the union. a state where i am in sync. it takes a lot of courage for a senator -- california is better than 21 states put together.
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wyoming, south dakota, north dakota -- they are not. so it takes tremendous courage and backbone for people to stand up. that is the test. leaders lead it. we do not follow. we have had so much since the beginning of the first mass shooting in 1967. these events have proliferated along with the increased technological killing power of weapons that are on the streets. it is a big problem today. >> i might just add, this debate is really only beginning. it has only been a week since this massacre in newtown. the nra will be irrelevant
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because it cannot be a credible and constructive participant in this debate if they say the only acceptable solution is armed guards in schools. better school security may be part of the solution, but it also has to include a ban on assault weapons which have that kind of firepower that endangers everyone as well as other measures. i think the key question is going to be making america safer. that will be the challenge. ultimately, i think the ark of this debate will swing toward strong, serious proposals. the american people will not stand by idly for another newtown. >> thank you, everybody.
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thank you. thank you, everybody. >> education secretary arne duncan called on community leaders to step up efforts to ensure safety in schools. these are his first remarks since last week's school shooting in newtown, connecticut. he addressed the need for gun control measures, access to mental health care, and protecting students and teachers from of violence. this portion of the event is about 40 minutes.
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>> good morning, everyone. and please give a round of applause to the public charter school marching band. [applause] it is so fabulous to have all of you here today. on behalf of all of the students, teachers, administrators and parents of our community, we welcome you. we are so pleased to have many distinguished guests here this morning. secretary arne duncan is on his way, mayor gray, chancellor henderson, chief of police, our seventh councilmember alexander, and our dear friend miss amanda powell. [applause]
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we are thrilled to have our local and national education and safety leaders here to discuss the promise neighborhood program and how we promote safety in our schools. i have been a principal and excited and delighted principal in this community for 80 years. i know how hard families work a day in and day out to achieve academically support each other and the community and to make sure our children have six classrooms, said playgrounds -- safe classrooms, safe playgrounds, and save homes to welcome them. this school has been a proud a partner of the promise neighborhood initiative. i realize some of our struggling students addressing these challenges in the class
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term alone was not going to be enough to help get them on the path to success and achieve what we know they are capable of in the future. we need to work with a broader coalition of partners to address their needs outside of the classroom, in the home, on the streets in the community. i am so thankful to our founder. [applause] for starting this hard work, they have continued the hard work over the past year. we are so appreciated -- appreciative of tracy right who has been the leading the principals council and teacher professional development
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efforts. now have quality partners liked aarp, jumpstart, save the children, who are serving our students and after school right now at neval thomas. [applause] our partnership with the promise neighborhood initiative has already begun to pay off. i am proud, extremely proud to report that last year our students made incredible strides in the core classes jumping 14 points in reading and 20 points in math on their pass exams. we are confident with the partnerships and resources available through the promise neighborhood initiative, we will continue on the upward trajectory for years to come.
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before we move on to the rest of our program, we will take a moment to commemorate our fellow elementary school students and leaders in newtown, conn. i want to be sure it is our time. i do not have a watch with me. ok. i am waiting for 9:30.
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if somebody would let me know. please spell your head and join me in this moment of silence. thank you. i am delighted to turn the floor over to one of our honorable guests, chancellor henderson.
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[applause] >> good morning, everybody. first i want to take the opportunity to welcome our special guests. whenever we have so many esteemed folks in our schools, we are very proud to welcome them. i want to start by actually welcoming on behalf of the person whose house we are in, our councilmember alexander from ward 7 who is here iwth us. i want to thank the mayor for being here. the new chairman of the education committee is here. let's thank him. [applause] deputy mayor for education, and jennifer leonard it. my esteemed colleague, the
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chief. we have powell from america's promise. i just want to thank them for all being with us today and all of you, our esteemed guests and sharing what i think will be an exciting moment -- morning. a week ago today, in the small town of newtown, conn., there was a horrific and unspeakable tragedy that none of us could get out of our minds. i am comforted today in the company of view, our friends, neighbors, community members, city leaders, leaders of our country, the mayor, and other special guests. i have the honor of introducing my friend and our champion, secretary of education arne duncan. give him a hand. [applause]
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since he came to washington with president obama in 2009, he has been a forward thinking and caring supporter of the district. to the teachers and principals of this city in this country. he has helped secure millions of dollars in funding. they helped shape innovative policies, all across the country. he is a true leader, not just in time for celebration, but in times of tragedy and sorrow. yesterday, he attended the funeral of the principle of sandy hook elementary school that lost her life protecting the children of the school.
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ladies and gentlemen, i am proud, thankful, and privileged to introduce arne duncan. [applause] >> i want to thank the children for their fantastic support. please give a round of applause for the work she is doing. [applause] i think she is an amazing leader, and d.c. has come a long way and has a long way to go. with her passion in her heart, she is leading the charge. this is a bittersweet day. i think it is so important on
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days like this and every day, that we listen to our children. savor their innocence and applaud their unquenchable appetite. let me start today with a great news. we announced the winners of a new round of the promise neighborhood plan. it covers all parts of the community to provide comprehensive support around great schools, high-quality early learning, after-school activities, mental health services, and crime prevention. i am announcing the initiative -- [applause]
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they have won $25 million. [applause] as i always say, don't fade there. it is a little hot in here. this is not a gift. this is an investment in your collective goodwill, your collective hard work. i thank you, not just for the work you're doing, but what so many of you have done for years and years. it is a small token of our appreciation. it is a great job of better
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opportunities for young people. they have won seven partnerships with other nations. we know, as we always do, we have so many great applications. i just wish we had more funds to support the work going on around the country. this is the kind of business we should be in. i wish we had a lot more resources because there is great work going around so many different places. we hope that great work continues. we think it is fundamentally important. i want to congratulate you and all your partners for uniting around a common vision for the rigorous and research based approach of all young people. i applaud the community for
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taking a broad and comprehensive view. the hub of the efforts will be the elementary schools, middle schools, high schools. we have put together an extraordinary coalition of 30 partners, including city partners, public schools, hospitals, health centers, the housing authority. this kind of work around the country, more than 200 applicants applied for this round of the grant and our team would have been comfortable if we had those resources. we would provide equal access, so many communities desperate to reduce the cradle to prison pipeline with a cradle to career pipeline. [applause]
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the recipients today, a small town in mississippi. the promise neighborhood grants are important because they have the entire community engaged, and asked everyone to come together, taking responsibility for helping children. the starkly, they have not had the kind of opportunities that they need. and we want to rebuild that social contract with our nation's youth. the concept at the heart of this program is equally relevant to a much more painful conversation, one that we felt last week. in the wake of the horrific massacre, losing six dedicated
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educators in a matter of just a couple of minutes to a disturbed young man with access to weapons of war is forcing all of us to confront a very difficult questions. i don't pretend have all the answers, but i believe the world has fundamentally changed. many americans will forever remember where they were. i went to talk privately with the teachers and school staff, to attend the wake of their heroic principle. i can tell you that the sense of loss and a sense of grief is overwhelming. no child, parents, families, or communities should ever have to go through what this community is going through. they're small, brazilian, and united.
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we have to make sure that we learn from this awful tragedy. every community needs to appraise its value and look at if the community, parents, business leaders, political leaders, and schools are doing everything in their power for our nation's children. this is a collective responsibility. it is not time to point fingers. we have to reassess the number of value choices and issues like easy access to guns and limited access to mental health services. we look at the role of parents. evaluating the cultural messages to devastating costs. president obama spoke of the fact that comes as a bit of shock to parents to recognize
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that no matter how much you love your kids, you can't do it by yourself. the job of keeping our children safe is something we can only do together with the help of friends, neighbors, community, and the nation. are we doing enough to keep our children safe from harm? are we allowing our children to grow up with a world of fear? it wasn't the first school shooting. a decade ago, it happened in colorado. there have been other massacres outside of the school. in cities across america, young lives are lost because of senseless gun violence horse or rate is absolutely staggering. a child that grew up on the south side of chicago, far too
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many of my friends and mentors were gunned down. its cars you. i attended far too many funerals. parents that lost their 10- year-old, a 11-year-old. a desk that is going to be empty forever, trying to explain as a friend. nothing in my job is more difficult and has made me more aware of how adults -- not just our children, but entire communities. i am a parent of two young school-age children. we need to be having honest conversations with our kids. the worst thing to do would be to try to sweep this tragedy under the rug.
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we have tried to be very honest with our son and daughter. millions of kids around the country, we need to do everything we can to keep them and their friends saved because they deserve better. we are at the mall or before going to bed. we also help teachers and principals deal with their fears. we should never expect them to put their lives on the line. we owe it to these brave and heroic educators, just a little bit of the courage that they demonstrate. vice-president biden is convening cabinet secretaries to talk about how to reduce gun violence and prevent future mass shootings. i am a member of that group. we have a broad charge to come
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up with comprehensive recommendations so that communities can act upon them to address this complex and difficult problem. the president started the conversation by offering common sense ideas. limiting high capacity ammunition clips, and closing the gun show loophole that allows criminals to acquire guns without a background check. we also need better enforcement of existing laws. reasonable people should be able to agree on these restrictions. many of these ideas are backed by members of the nra. my good friend, the senator, he summed up the consensus as well. he said he doesn't know anyone in the sporting or hunting arena that goes out with an
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assault rifle. he doesn't know anyone that needs 30-round clips to go hunting. i asked and i pleaded, let's make real progress on that front and let's go further. let's ask, what can we do as a community? what can we expect of each other? what responsibility goes with the right to own guns? i think all of us try to imagine what we would do if that was our child or if that was our wife or sister that was one of those that gave their lives. what would we do differently? let's have a conversation about mental health. do people get access to the help that they need? are we doing enough to ensure that mentally ill individuals that pose a violent threat to
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schools, this is the time to come together to prove the naysayers are fundamentally wrong. we have no choice but to do everything in our power to make our schools and our community a safe haven. when the american people put their mind to something, we have tremendous faith that we will see real change. i believe communities can and will reaffirm the sacred trust of keeping all of our children safe. the coming weeks, i plan on spending a lot of time visiting schools, communities, cities, suburbs, to talk about this issue. i want to talk to god owners and sport shooters to ask them what their advice is. i want to talk about values because we have common values that go far beyond the right to bear arms.
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we value our freedom to go to a movie theater, a house of worship, to do what we want to do so long as we're not compromising the freedom of others. we value the right to live our daily lives. last week, the lives of 26 people were cut short because one historic young man -- i can't help but wonder what would happen if he did not have access to those guns. maybe he would be punching his pillow. there would still be 26 families that are preparing to celebrate the holidays. unfortunately, it is too late for that. but it is not too late for america. thank you. [applause]
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>> is now my pleasure to introduce my boss, the mayor of the city. [applause] >> thank you very much and good morning. let me say how much i appreciate the secretary being here with us today. it has been an extraordinary help to the district of columbia. he has spent an enormous amount of time with us in the city working at around our educational goals and desires and outcomes. i also want to thank the secretary for the eloquence of the spoken words about the
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challenges that we face. hopefully we will turn that energy from occurring. i want to commend the president and vice president biden for working on this issue. there are obvious ones like getting assault weapons. and the question is, what will we do? secretary, thank you, and thank the president for supporting us. [applause] i want to recognize the council members that have joined us today. and the council member that
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within the last 24 hours, the chair of the education committee. both are experienced and are very committed to the district. thank you for being here. to the folks that have joined us, our deputy mayor that has a daunting responsibility of health and human services, and who has enormous experience working with children, especially early childhood. the deputy mayor for education, we appreciate you stepping up.
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our chair that leaves the child and family services committee. we got a glowing report just the other day with the progress we are making. [applause] it wasn't long ago that we had children in foster care in the city. the number is down to just under 1500. the most important thing is we are bringing about permanence in the lives of children in the district of columbia. thank you for what you do. [no audio] [applause] -- [applause] to the outstanding chief of police who has done such an extraordinary job, we're just a matter of days from the end of
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the year, and it is exciting to be able to have the lowest number in the district of columbia. [applause] back in the early 90s, we were turned not so glowingly, obviously. we have 4500 homicides. today, we have about seven days ago and we are at 82. rightgoing in the direction. we are on course to bring that down. that is why what you heard earlier is so important also. and frankly, we could of had a similar one at earlier this year.
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they were ready to shoot up the place, but thanks to the heroism of the operations man there, he was wounded in the course of that but prevented this man. the message is starkly before us, and we need to heed the message that we heard this morning, and we need to do whatever we can to get guns off the streets. we need to get them out of the hands of desperadoes. and those doing such an extraordinary job, i am delighted where she is. she not only brings expertise,
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but her heart. you only need to talk with her a few minutes could get to understand how much she loves children. from the 45,000-50,000 kids, chancellor, thank you for what you do every day. [applause] today, i guess the news is somewhat anticlimactic. what does one say after that? i wish i had another $25 million to match that, mr. secretary. but we are delighted to be able to be the recipient of such a grant. i think that it demonstrates
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the faith that the city is on a correct path to be able to eliminate the conditions that lead to poverty. there are other people want to mention. i haven't been to a meeting that she has not that bad. -- been at. [applause] thank you so much for your devotion to the district of columbia. they have been a real force in this effort. [applause] and a veteran of the d.c. government. [applause] and continued on with that
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service, now working as the staff leader. it is fitting for us to be here because the school has made extraordinary progress. in the last couple of years, we have seen the math scores increased by 21 points. and over a similar time, it demonstrates that even a challenge, economically and socially, our kids can learn and chief, and it starts with our own optimism and believe that those students can achieve. thank you for being able to show the way. [applause] i want to applaud the five promises and to generations
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model. we're not going to talk at length about the promises, but it includes making sure our children have a healthy start, that they are caring adults, that they have safe spaces where they can learn and play every day. we received an effective education. all of us have the opportunity to give back and recognize that important goal. this model is also a holistic and collaborative model as well, bringing together the kinds of services that behalf secretary mentioned earlier and the kinds of services in order to be able to supplement and augment whatever adjective one wants to use. one of those things that i
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happen to be, i will regalia with my own involvement in early childhood education. when i was on the council, i was joined by my colleagues, council members alexander, being able to approve legislation. i have had the opportunity to continue with that and make the investment that moves us along. i think we now have the most robust childhood education program in america. we have a seat for every child, we just have to get the distribution rights. immediately adjacent, we have a
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the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: last night, the house of representatives proved what we have known for quite a while. speaker boehner's plan to raise taxes on 25 million middle-class taxpayers while handing out $50,000 bonuses to millionaires and billionaires was dead on arrival. we said that yesterday. we knew the so-called plan b was no plan at all. it couldn't pass the senate. turns out, it couldn't pass the house either. it's too bad speaker boehner wasted a week in this futile political stunt, and that's all we can all it, mr. president, but at least now house
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republicans have gotten the message loud and clear that comprehensive -- a comprehensive solution to the looming fiscal cliff will need to be a bipartisan solution. no comprehensive agreement can pass either chamber without both democrats and republican votes. which means any solution will have to ask the most fortunate among us to pay a little more to reduce the deficit and ensure hardship doesn't -- hardship doesn't take the nation to the brink of default. nothing that has passed the house of representatives fits that test, nothing. a few days ago, president obama and speaker boehner appeared poised to strike a grand bargain, but we have heard that before. instead of making hard choices or compromising, as president obama has been willing to do, the speaker retreated to his corner and resorted to political stunts.
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but that stunt fell flat. it's time for the speaker and all republicans to return to the negotiating table. we have never left, mr. president. it's time for republicans to work with us to find the middle ground. that's the only hope of averting the devastating impacts of the fiscal cliff. mr. president, the fiscal cliff is -- needs to be avoided. in the meantime, the speaker should bring the middle-class tax cut passed by the senate five months ago to the floor of the house for a vote. we know it would pass. all he has to do is let democrats vote with some republicans. it will pass. the clock is ticking until the nation goes over the fiscal cliff and taxes go up for every family in america, but there is still time for the speaker to hit the brakes and avoid that cliff. we don't need the thelma and louise projection over that cliff, mr. president. the senate-passed bill would protect 98% of families and 97%
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of small businesses from crippling tax hikes. while president obama and the speaker work toward a compromise agreement. that agreement should be comprehensive. if republicans truly want to ensure american families taxes don't go up on january 1, they should simply pass the senate bill. the only reason speaker boehner hasn't brought our bill to the floor sooner is he knows it will pass. he worked for a day or two seeing if he could bring that up so it wouldn't pass. that didn't work either. americans are not fooled by the speaker's phony procedural excuses for failing to bring this solution to a vote. they are tired of excuses. they expect action. so let me be very poignant. there is nothing preventing the speaker from taking up our bill and giving middle-class families certainty. so i say to my friend, the speaker, this isn't a game, it is not scoring political points or putting wins on the board. there will be very serious consequences for millions of families if congress fails to compromise. there will be very serious
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consequences for our country if congress fails to compromise. it's time for the speaker to return to the negotiating table ready to compromise. it's time for the house, especially the house republicans, to remember what's at stake. i repeat -- the $250,000 program would pass overwhelmingly in the house. it's up to the species to let that vote occur. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: most people are focused, of course, today on what happened over in the house. i'd like to focus on a press conference that congressional democrats held just a few hours earlier. here were the leaders of the democratic party here in the
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senate, other than the president, these are the folks with the greatest responsibility for protecting the american people from a massive tax hike coming in january. and what do they do? they stood in front of the cameras and laughed, laughed. they giggled at a bunch of bad jokes and told the american people they didn't plan to do anything this week, nothing. absolutely nothing. democrats in the house vowed they wouldn't vote for this bill. the majority leader vowed he would ignore it if it made it out of the house and went to the senate, and the president vowed he would veto it if it made it out of the senate. so democrats spent all day yesterday, literally all day yesterday defeating a bill that would have made current tax rates permanent for more than 99% of americans, and they laughed about it. ten days to go until the fiscal cliff, and they laughed about it.
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i don't know if anybody has looked at a calendar lately, but we're about out of time here, folks. this isn't funny. people's livelihoods are at stake here. the u.s. economy is at stake here. millions upon millions of families are counting on us to do something. look, it's the president's job, it's his job to find a solution that can pass the congress. he's the only one who can do it. this isn't john boehner's problems to solve. he has done his part. he has bent over backwards. mr. president, how about rallying your party around a solution? how about getting democrats to support something? i've said it many times before, we simply cannot solve the problems we face unless and until the president of the united states either finds the will or develops the ability, the ability to lead. this is a moment that calls for presidential leadership. that's the way out of this.
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it's that simple. does anybody wonder why we keep going from crisis to crisis around here? anybody notice a pattern? this didn't have to be a crisis. this was an opportunity, but once again the president ignored it. he went out and held rallies and gave partisan speeches even after he had already been re-elected. as i said yesterday, i think it's obvious at this point the president wants to go off the cliff, but i know most of the american people don't want that. so today i'm going to make an offer. with ten days to go, we have an obligation to act on something, something that can pass the house and the senate, and if the president won't propose it, if senate democrats won't propose it, i will. earlier this year, the house passed a bill that extends current rates on everyone for one year. one year, with instructions for
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expedited comprehensive tax reform by next year. we could bring up this house-passed bill. if the majority leader has a plan that can get 60 votes in the senate, break through the disarray in his own caucus and build bipartisan support, offer that as an amendment and then let's vote. let's vote on amendments from all sides. and then let's go to conference with the house of representatives. they have already passed a bill, one that i support, to prevent a tax hike on all americans and reform the tax code. why don't we take it up here, and let's get this done. it's called legislating. that's what we used to do in congress. now, democrats may be popping champagne corks today about bringing down plan b, but all their effort to do so yesterday won't protect a single taxpayer from a massive tax hike in just a few weeks. the american people are waiting. surely we can do better than
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this. let's do it. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the leadership time is reserved -- the majority leader. mr. reid: mr. president, if this weren't such a serious situation we face ourselves, it would be laughable. can you imagine saying that we should defeat a bill that we have already defeated? we voted, we voted on the proposal at the same time we voted to pass that protecting middle-class americans. that passed the senate. one to give the richest of the rich a tax continuation of the breaks they get. as i caid, the proposal they had, about another $50,000 for each of them, was defeated here. it was defeated in the senate. so my friend -- and he is my
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friend -- the republican leader is struggling to try to find a way to blame democrats, and it's a struggle. trying to blame us for the failure of the house to pass the speaker's bill. the house is led by the republicans. their margin narrowed. it will be better for the country after the first of the year, but right now he controls the house by a wide margin. i served in the house. the speaker is all powerful in the house. to blame us for that travesty that took place over there, mr. president, that is pretty incredible. as i tried to say in my remarks here, mr. president, could we at least protect the middle class? my friend complains that the president hasn't done enough.
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he put forward a proposal that has received criticism from democrats because he was too generous with speaker boehner. but the president believes, as he said several times, both sides may have to make hard choices. the president released a balanced $2.4 trillion program. that's pretty good. it would alleviate the fiscal cliff, allow the s.g.r. to continue so doctors get paid and patients have a doctor to go to. it extended unemployment benefits for people who are desperate. it's true there's a crisis here, but it's because the house republicans refuse to pass the senate-passed tax bill. it's because the republicans in the house are fighting among themselves.
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the republican leader seeks to pass the house-passed bill but we've already turned that bill down. the real answer lies in the speaker, who controls the house of representatives, talking to the president and working things out. mr. mcconnell: by --. the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: all i was suggest to my friend the majority leader you have a tax bill that originated in the house, it came over to the senate. if our friends in the majority don't like that version of it, they could call it up, amend it and see if there's a majority in the senate for something. the time for finger pointing is, seems to me, about over. the american people are not particularly interested in what originated here or there or who is doing what. they're interested in getting a result. and i was just trying to be
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helpful in suggesting you've got a tax bill that came over from the house, you've got a majority here, you could take it up, offer amendments, see if there is something that could achieve a majority of the senate rather than just complaining because the house didn't pass something yesterday, that didn't going to solve the problem. somehow, some way, we need to find a way forward and i hope we can in the coming week. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i hope we can, too. but this is really quite remarkable. i'm told that members from this body went and talked to the republican caucus yesterday saying send us your plan b, and the democrats over here will take care of it and send you back something you'll like better. mr. president, we can all see what's happened in the press. now, i like john john boehner,
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but gee wheeze. this is a pretty big political battering he's taken. what he should do is allow a vote in the house of representatives on a bipartisan bill. it will pass. democrats will vote for it, some republicans will vote for it. that's what we're supposed to do. but he's trying to pass everything with that majority that he has that can't agree on anything among themselves. bring in the democrats. that's what the country was set up, our founding fathers set it up that way. but he wants some other method where everything is done by a slim majority that they have. this is absolutely incredible, mr. president. and we believe that the speaker should be concerned, i'm confident he is, but maybe he's more concerned, as some have said, about his election to be returned as speaker. he should be more concerned about what's going to happen to
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the country. if he showed leadership and walked out there and said this is the right thing for the country, we're all going to vote on this, democrats would vote for it and enough republicans would vote for it to pass something that would take us away from that fiscal cliff. but this brinksmanship and silliness that's going on over there that you wouldn't do in an eighth grade government election. the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i would only add that the time for finger pointing is gradually running out here. the american people know we have a president, they know we have a senate and they know we have a house and they're anxiously waiting whether we're going to solve this problem before the
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] we had differences going back to 1991. i think senator kerry was good in libya. i've been disappointed he has not take an more vigorous position on syria.
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>> could you comment on the actions of the house yesterday? >> i would like to see the president get off the campaign trail and sit down the leaders of the house and senate. the american people deserve us to work all together and prevent this cliff. this is already upsetting the markets, understandably, and i think it is time to stop the press release and the rhetoric the way that ronald reagan did and tip o'neill did, the way clinton did with bob dole, and newt gingrich. there is a long history of this. it means people getting into a room and preventing what we all want to prevent, and if we share the same goal, there should be a way for us to reach it. i am sorry that the house yesterday was unable to pass
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that the resolution, which was obviously a rebuke to their leader, but hopefully over their recess, when the come back after christmas, there will be cooler heads will prevail and the president will begin serious negotiations. thanks. >> coming up on c-span, the national rifle association's president and c.e.o. and then senators feinstein and blumenthal and then a look at negotiations for the fiscal cliff. we'll look at the fiscal cliff and other year-end legislation in congress with stephen dinan followed by house republicans and speaker boehner's situation
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with the white house and then a look back at the columbine shootings. "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> i think that there was no -- the idea and it was promoted in certain articles and i think there was a conflation of politics. joe, who created the show was a conservative. there was no agenda, the idea that there was an agenda, which was really the charge that was being forwarded, was somehow the midwife to public policy was absurd. it is absurd, which isn't to say that if there was an issue, if in fact our content was affecting the behavior of
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interrogators in the field, even if it was .05% of those, there was a systemic problem for sure that i suggested we try to intervene on behalf of those people. you know, this is a television show and so, you know, it is a television show but it did and again, i may be polly annaish about this but the fact that it became the political football that it became was a very valuable thing. >> monday night at 8:00 on c-span, how movies and television portray politics and policy making followed by george will on the historical link between television and politics and then singer/songwriter james taylor on c-span. >> the national rifle
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association executive vice president and c.e.o. called for armed police officers in schools following the shooting in newtown, connecticut. anti-gun protesters interrupted his remarks twice. the pro gun organization announced it is developing a school shield emergency response program aimed at securing schools directed by asa hutchinson. this is half an hour. >> i am dave keane, president of the national rifle association and i would like to welcome you to begin our discussion of the
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topic that has been on the minds of american parents across this country. that is -- what do we do about the tragedy of the sort that struck in newtown, conn. to avoid such events in the future? like most americans, we were shocked by what happened. like all americans, we have been discussing all of the various options that are available to protect our children and, at this point, we would like to share our thinking with you. to that purpose, i would like to introduce wayne lapierre, our executive vice president. thank you again for being with us. at the end of this conference, we will not be taking questions but next week, we will be available to any of you who are interested in talking about these or other issues of interest. contact us, please, at that point, thank you very much. wayne?
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>> good morning. the national rifle association, 4 million mothers, fathers, sons and daughters joined the nation in outrage, grief, and earnest prayer for the families of newtown, conn. who have suffered such an incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime. out of respect for the families and until the facts were known, the nra has refrained from comment.
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while some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectably silent. now, we must speak for the safety of our nation's children. for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one, nobody, has addressed the most important pressing and immediate question we face -- how do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works? the only way to answer that question is to face the truth. politicians have laws for gun-free school zones.
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they issue press releases bragging about them. they post signs advertising them. in doing so, they tell every insane killer in america that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk. how have our nation's morals gotten so far out of order? think about it -- we care about our money so we protect our banks with armed guards. american airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses, even sports stadiums are all protected by armed security.
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we care about our president so we protect him with armed secret service agents. members of congress work in offices surrounded by capitol police officers. yet, when it comes to our most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of the american family, our children, we, as a society, leave them every day utterly defenseless. and the monsters of the world know it and exploit it.
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that must change now. the truth is -- >> stop killing our children. we've got to end the violence. we have to stop the killing. the nra is killing our children. they are the perpetrators of crimes. >> the truth is, that our society is populated by an
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unknown number of genuine monsters, people that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can ever possibly comprehend them. they walk among us every single day. does anybody really believe that the next adam lanza not planning an attack on a school that he has already identified at this very moment? how many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame? from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to-wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave while provoking others to try to make their mark. a dozen more killers, 100? more? how can we possibly even guess how many?
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given our nation's refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill. the fact is this -- that would not begin to address the much larger more lethal criminal class, killers, robbers, rapists, gang members who have spread like cancer in every community across our nation. meanwhile, while that happens, federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40% to the lowest levels in a decade. so now, do to a decline and willingness to prosecute dangerous criminals, violent crime is increasing again for the first time in 19 years.
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add another hurricane, terrorist attack or some other natural or man-made disaster, and you've got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization. here is another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal. there exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt, and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people through vicious violent video games with names like bullet storm, quality grand theft
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auto," mortal combat and "splatter house." here is one -- that is called kindergarten killers. it has been online for 10 years. how come my research staff can't find it and all of yours could not or didn't want anyone to know you had found it? add another hurricane, add another natural disaster -- we have blood-soaked films out there like "american psycho," "natural born killers." these are aired like propaganda loops every single day. 1000 music videos, and you all know this, portray life as a joke and they play murder -- portray murder as a way of life. then they all have the nerve to
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call it entertainment. but is that what it really is? isn't fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography? in a race to the bottom, media conglomerate compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty right into our homes every minute, every day, every hour, of every single year. a child growing up in america today witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18.
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throughout it all, too many in the national media, their corporate owners, and their stockholders, act as silent enablers if not complicit co-conspirators. rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize gun owners. >> reckless behavior becoming from the nra. the nra has blood on its hands. the n.r.a. has blood on its hands. shame on the n.r.a.! ban assault weapons now! ban assault weapons now! n.r.a.! ban assault weapons now! stop killing our children! stop the reckless behavior of the n.r.a.
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we need gun control now. >> rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonizes the gun owners, amplifies their cries for more laws, and fills the national media with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action in all that guarantees the next atrocity is only a news cycle away. the media calls semi automatic firearms machine guns. they claim the civilian sem automatic firearms are used by the military. they tell us that the 223 round is one of the most popular calibers when all of these claims are factually untrue. they don't know what they are talking about. worse, they perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban or one more law imposed on peaceful lawful people will
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protect us where 20,000 other laws have failed. as brave and heroic and as self-sacrificing as those teachers were in those classrooms and as prompt and professional and well trained as those police were when they responded, they were unable, through no fault of their own, and able to stop it. as parents, we do everything we can to keep their children safe. is now time for us to assume responsibility for our schools. the only way, the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. the only thing that stops a bad
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guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away or from a minute away? i can imagine the headlines, the shocking headline, they will print tomorrow. more guns, you will claim, are the n.r.a.'s answer to everything. your implication will be that guns are evil and have no place in society, much less in our schools. since when did the gun automatically become a bad word? a gun in the hands of a secret
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service agent protecting our president isn't a bad word. a gun in the hands of the soldier protecting the united states of america is not a bad word. when you hear your glass breaking at 3:00 a.m. and you call 911, you won't be able to pray hard enough for a gun in that hands of a good guy to get there fast enough to protect you. so, why is the idea of a gun good when it is used to protect the president of our country or our police, but bad when it is used to protect our children in our schools? they are our kids. they are our responsibility, and it is not just our duty to protect them, it is our right to protect them.
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you know, five years ago, after the virginia tech tragedy, when i said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy. but what if, what if, when adam lanza started shooting his way into sandy hook elementary school last friday he had been confronted by qualified armed security? will you at least admit it is possible that 26 little kids that, 26 innocent lives might have been spared that day? is it so abhorrent that you would rather continue to rest
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-- risk the alternative? is the press and the political class here in washington, d.c. so consumed by fear and hatred of the n.r.a. and american gun owners that you are willing to accept a world where real resistance to evil monsters is alone, unarmed, school principal left to surrender her life, her life to shield those children in her care? no one, no one, regardless of personal political prejudice has the right to impose that sacrifice. ladies and gentlemen, there is no national one-size-fits-all solution to protect our children.
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do know that this president zeroed out school planning grants in the last budget and scrapped secure our schools policing grants in next year's budget. with all the foreign aid the united states does, with all the money in the federal budget, can't we afford to put a police officer in every single school? even if they did that, politicians have no business and no authority denying us the right, the ability, and the moral imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm. the national rifle association knows there are millions of qualified, active and retired police, active reserves, retired military, security professionals, certified firefighters, security
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professionals, rescue personnel, and -- an extraordinary core of patriotic, trained and qualified citizens to join with local school officials and police in devising a protection plan for every single school. we could deploy them to protect our kids now. we can immediately make america's schools safer, relying on the brave men and women in america's police forces. the budgets -- you all know this, everyone the country knows this -- the budgets of our local police departments are strained and the resources are severely limited. their dedication and courage is second to none and they can be deployed right now. i call on congress today to act immediately to appropriate what ever is necessary to put armed
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police officers in every single school in this nation and to do it now. to make sure that blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in january. before congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation, or anything else, as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in america immediately deployed a production program proven to work and by that i mean armed security. right now today, every school in the united states should plan meetings with parents, school administrators, teachers, local authorities and draw upon every resource out there that is available, to erect a cordon of protection around our kids right now.
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every school will have a different solution based on its own unique situation. every school in america needs to immediately identify, dedicate, and deploy the resources necessary to put these security forces in place right now. at the national rifle association, as america's preeminent trainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years, we have 11,000 police training instructors in the nra ready, willing, and uniquely qualified to help. our training programs are the most advanced in the world. that expertise must be brought to bear to protect our schools and their children now. we did it for our nation's defense industry at military installations during world war two. we did it for very young kids with air safety program that is throughout the country in schools right now.
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we will do it again today. the nra will bring all its knowledge, all its dedication, and all its resources to develop a model national school shield emergency response program for every single school in america that wants it. from armed security to building design and access control, the information technology, student and teacher training, this multifaceted program will be developed by the very best experts in the field. former congressman asa hutchinson will lead the effort as national director of the national model school shield program with a budget provided
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by the n.r.a. of whatever scope the task requires. his experience as a united states attorney, director of the drug enforcement agency, and undersecretary of the department of homeland security will given the knowledge and expertise to hire the most knowledgeable and credentialed experts available in the united states of america to get this program up and running from the first day forward. if we truly cherish our kids more than our money, more than our celebrities, more than our sports stadiums, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and that security is only available with properly trained armed good guys. under asa's leadership our
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expert also make this program available to the world to protect their children at school and will make that program available to every single school in america free of charge. that is a plan of action that can and will make a real positive indisputable difference in the safety of our children and it will start right now. there will be a lot of time to talk and debate later. this is a time, this is a day for decisive action. we cannot wait for the next unspeakable crime to happen before we act. we cannot lose precious time debating legislation that will not work. we must not allow politics or personal prejudice to divide us. we must act now for the sake of every child in america. i call on every parent, i call on every teacher, i call on every school administrator, every law enforcement officer in
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this country to join with us and help create a national school shield safety program to protect our children with the only positive line of defense that is tested and proven to work. now, to tell you more about the program, i would like to introduce the head of the effort, former u.s. congressman, former u.s. attorney for the western district of arkansas and former ad minister of the u.s. drug enforcement agency, the honorable congressman, asa hutchinson. asa?
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>> thank you, wayne. >> one of the first responsibilities i learned at homeland security was the importance of protecting our nation's critical infrastructure. there is nothing more critical to our nation's well-being that our children safety. they are this country's future and our most precious resource. all understand that our children should be safe at school but it is also essential that the parents understand and have confidence in that safety. as a result of the tragedy in newtown connecticut, that confident -- confidence across this nation has been shattered.
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assurance of school safety must be restored with a sense of urgency. that is why i am grateful that the national rifle association has asked me to lead a team of security experts to assist our schools, parents, and their communities. i took this assignment on one condition -- that my team of experts will be independent, and will be guided solely by what are the best security solutions for the safety of our children while at school. even though we are just starting this process, i envision this initiative will have two key elements -- first of all, it would be based on a model security plan, a comprehensive strategy for school security based upon the latest, most up-to-date, technical information from the foremost experts in their fields. this model security plan will serve as a template, a set of best practices, principals, and guidelines that every school in america can tweak as needed and tailor it to their own set of circumstances. every school and community is different. this model plan will allow every
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school to choose among its various components to develop a school safety strategy that fits their own unique circumstance whether it is a large urban school or a small rural schools such as we have an arkansas or anything we have in between. armed and qualified school security personnel will be one element of that plan but by no means the only element. if a school decides, for whatever reason, that it does not want or need armed security personnel, that is the decision to be made by the parents or the local school board at the local level. the second point i want to make is this will be a program that does not depend on massive funding from local authorities or the federal government. instead, it will make use of local volunteers serving in their own communities. my son was a volunteer with a local group called "watchdog
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dads" patrolled playgrounds and provided a measure of added security. president clinton initiated a program called "cops in school" but the federal response is not sufficient for today's path. -- task. whether they're retired police, retired military or rescue personnel, i think there are people in every community in this country it would be happy to serve if only someone ask them and gave them the training and certification is to do so. the national rifle association is the natural obvious choice to sponsor this program. their guns safety, hunter education programs have set the standard for well over a century. over the past 25 years, the eddie eagle and state program has taught over 26 million children that real guns are not toys.
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today child gun accidents are at the lowest levels ever recorded. school safety is a complex issue with those simple, single solution. but i believe trained, qualified armed security is one key component among many that can provide the first line of difference, as well as the last line of defense. again, i welcome the opportunity to serve as vital, potentially lifesaving effort. thank you very much. >> asa, thank you. as i indicated at the outset, this is the beginning of a serious conversation. we will not be taking questions today, but our public affairs officer is here. we will be willing to talk to anyone beginning on monday. a text of the speech are
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available at nra.org. i want to thank all of you for being with us and look forward to talking with you in answering any of your questions next week. thank you very much. >> next democratic senatorses dianne feinstein and richard blumen than respond to and criticize the march's remarks. from capitol hill, this is 25 minutes. >> good afternoon, everyone.
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i'm here with senator blumenthal, the senior senator from connecticut. we would like to make a few remarks and response to the national rifle association press conference this morning. this morning, the n.r.a. said that they wanted to have a conversation about security in our schools. i would like to respond to that call. if school districts want to hire armed security guards, i support that. that is a decision each school district should make. many school districts already have armed guards. in fact 28,300 public schools, that is about one-third of all public schools have armed security staff. in fact, there were two armed law enforcement officers who twice engaged the shooters at columbine. that did not prevent 15 from being killed and 23 wounded.
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copies of the investigative transcript with exactly what happened is a available at the back of the room. the n.r.a.'s blanket call to arm our schools is really nothing more than a distraction. it is a delay tactic. it is a distraction from the availability of military-style assault weapons on our streets, and our schools, used that malls, used at workplaces, use the movie theaters. they allow for death and destruction. it is a distraction from the large ammunition devices that allow shooters to expel 20, 30, 60, 100 and even more bullets. it is a distraction from how easy it is to purchase weapons at gun shows with no background checks at all. the weapons today are much more
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powerful and lethal than the weapons were when we did this bill in 1993. that is a problem. the time has come to address it. i will not demonize anyone. as i said before, i am willing to talk to anyone and listen to anyone. i'm open to suggestions to make legislation better and more effective. should we have a conversation about school security? yes. should we have a conversation about mental illness and the culture of violence? yes. but we cannot ignore the common denominator in all of the deadly massacres. access. easy access to killing machines. sandy hook is only the latest tragedy. more horrendous than anything i ever thought could happen in the united states of america. these massacres are happening in our shopping malls, our movie theaters, our businesses in our offices.
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and the only thing that is consistent in all of them is the guns. i would like to introduce one of our co-spoors of the legislation we hope to introduce alone with the hold up, the senior senator from the great state of connecticut, going through a very difficult time. thank you, senator feinstein. let me first thank you for your leadership going back to 1993 and before, at a time when i was seeking to advocate in the state of connecticut a similar law to the one adopted here banning assault weapons. this has been a hair owing horrific week in the state of -- harrowing, horrific week in the
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state of connecticut, culminating in today's moment of silence at 9:30. the end of the week and i spent the better part of the time meeting with first responders, families, going to funerals and wakes and speaking with ordinary people of newtown and the state of connecticut. the refrain i have heard over and over again from newtown and connecticut and all around the country is you need to do something about the guns. the n.r.a.'s statement today is sadly and shamefully inadequate, calling for more guns and rejecting real action against gun violence. at a defining a historic moment for our nation demanding courageous leadership, the nra has declined to step forward as a credible and constructive partner. the proposal for more armed guards in schools may be helpful in some instances, but it falls
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short of the strong, serious comprehensive action needed to stop the kind of horrific tragedy that occurred last week. many of the state police who spoke to me on that day when we take a said that the killer was so heavily armed that they doubted they could have stopped him. with the arms they normally carry. the american people are demanding real change. the nra proposal fails to offer any real protection from violence. n.r.a. members in connecticut and around the country are writing and calling me to say that the n.r.a. does not speak for them. the newtown tragedy was a call to action and the n.r.a. has failed to answer that call.
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we need to do something about these guns, about the assault weapons, the kind that was used in the newtown tragedy. i am very proud to join in senator feinstein's bill to oppose -- to help put a stop to the proliferation of the assault weapons that have no purpose but to kill and maim human beings. we need to do something about the high-capacity magazines also used a in the killing at sandy hook elementary school. better background checks, more of them so the 40% not covered are in fact done. when they are done, more comprehensively and effectively. other measures relating to mental health need to be part of the solution. we need a dialogue among people
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committed to common sense sensible solutions. but the n.r.a. will have to alter its approach if it is to be taken seriously? this national debate. thank you. >> let me quickly brief you on where senator blumenthal and i are. let me just indicate that the new senator will be sworn in in january came to see me and said he wanted to play a major role in this and really helped work the bill. he was absolutely dedicated to it and both of us are very grateful for that. we are working with the house. we hope to have one bill that will be introduced in the house and we will have a joint press conference. yesterday president clinton said if there is anything he can do to help he will do it.
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i just called him and the reason i was late to this and i said may i say that? he said yes, go right ahead. we haven't firmed up the final details, which i think all of us know. this is a work in progress. we're putting together senate offers. i would like to urge anyone in the senate to call us. we would like to sit down with you and hear your ideas. we would be hopeful that you would join with us. let me end with one thing. 1993, i got a bunch of gun magazines and went through them and did a study of the state of the art of these guns then. we just redid that. i have on my desk these magazines that will show the state of the art today, 2012. i cannot tell you how much more
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sophisticated and technologically advanced these weapons are. all stemming from military weapons. there are even devices that can be put in legally that make them fully automatic. as you read this literature, you see the enormous killing power that is up there on the streets for virtually anybody to buy or obtain. if you have questions? yes? >> you mentioned you have been meeting people and hearing from them. i was curious whether you thought the n.r.a. struck an appropriate tone today on the week anniversary of the shooting? >> i think that the n.r.a.'s motives and mind may have been with people of newtown, but it wasn't much in evidence in the specific proposals made today.
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i do not want to comment on the memories and the mourning people of newtown, which i am very respectful of. today is one of sadness for me. i hope to honor the memory of those victims by what we do in the united states congress. they as much as anybody in the whole country, their families loved ones and friends are calling for action. >> can you name any g.o.p members beside scott brown, who have come forward to support any kind of gun control? >> not at this time, but i have not had the opportunity to talk with them yet, either. >> president clinton called you. i wonder if you can elaborate a little bit more on what he said
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and what you have asked him to do. >> he was talking about back in 1993 with the bill. interestingly enough it was introduced and passed within the year of 1993. it went into effect in 1994. he was president. the white house came alive. he was a very, very helpful and enabling the passage of that bill in the senate and the house. to have him part of the team again is really quite special for us. >> an agreement on that? >> there is not yet unanimous agreement. i talked with my vice chairman this morning. i do not know what is holding it up. the general belief is that this bill will be on the floor next week we come back.
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>> when you talked about the state of the art weaponry out there, i believe your bill does not call for any compensation of weapons already out there. other than stopping people from buying new ones, if there is already too much access, what would the effect be? >> good question, and i thank you for it. what we are looking for is placing these weapons under the federal firearms act, the same act that exists for automatic weapons. since there are now devices to legally make them automatic, it seems to me that it is prudent to place them under the federal firearms act. this would require they be registered, their own verse a background check. it is inconceivable after what the n.r.a. said today that they do not think people who have guns
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should have background checks or that they should be registered. we are looking at a buyback program. again, this is a work in progress. these are ideas in the development. >> do you think people who already own them would have to register? >> they would have to register the military assault style weapons. it would be put under the provisions of the federal firearms act. i am sure you can read the act and see what that is. yes? >> 1993, democrats controlled house, senate, and the white house. as you know, republicans have a sizable majority in the next congress. given n.r.a. stance today, how do you get republicans onboard? how do you get through the house judiciary committee? what do you do? >> look, there is no more uphill fight than this. the question is, do we fight or knuckle under. we are not going to knuckle
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under. it may take a year or two or three. in the meantime, i believe through social media and efforts like mayor bloomberg who has announced he is launching that we need to elect people who understand that america cannot be turned into an armed camp, where the safety of our citizens is jeopardized by the rights of a few who don't want anything to curtail their gun rights, no matter how powerful those weapons are. we are just looking at one class of weapons. weapons designed to kill people in close combat in military situations. >> in 199 3, there was no social media. how does that give you an edge this time? >> there was no social media before.
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how does that give you an edge this time. >> i have heard from people interested in launching social media. this is a big fight. this is a fight the american people are going to have to stand up and stiffen the spine. either you're going to let the n.r.a. take over and dictate to this country, or you're going to enable your elected representatives to vote their conscious based on their experience, based on their sense of right, based on their need to protect their schools, their malls, their workplaces and their businesses. >> i think senator feinstein's point is profoundly important and well taken. a number of our colleagues have come up to me in the wake of the tragedy. generally grief-stricken. really affected by what they have seen and heard. feeling that we need real change. but america and the people of america are the ones who are going to make it happen by
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standing up and speaking out. i'm sometimes asked, well, how are you going to do it? it isn't we have we. it is the american people who ultimately will convince the congress that the time for real change is now. the n.r.a.'s proposal for more armed guards in schools may seem like a good idea, but in fact, as you heard in the explanation afterwards, they are contemplating volunteers, watchdog dads, which i think is problematic itself. raising concerns about safety, expertise. effectiveness. i think the american people are looking for real solutions, comprehensive proposals rather than what we heard today. i think that opens an enormous opportunity for all of the means
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by which they can express themselves. fortunately we have more technology now. there is the opportunity for more contact and influence in what comes out of the process. it may not be right away, but it will happen eventually. >> i would like to read the transcript of columbine, of the sheriff's transcript of what happened, if i can, for a moment. this is the transcript compiled. jefferson county deputy seen working with this gun and leaned over the top of his car and fired four shots. he was 60 yards from the gunmen. harris spun hard to the right and gardner momentarily thought he had hit him. seconds later he began shooting again at the deputy.
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after the exchange, at harris ran back into the building. gardner was able to get on the radio and call for assistance for another sheriff's unit. shots of in the building. i need somebody in the south lot with me. later another officer fired back at harris as the student shot out a window. according to the transcript, leaning out of a broken window on the set of double doors began shooting a rifle. jefferson county deputy paul smoker fires three rounds at him and the gunman disappears from the window. smoker continues to hear gunfire as more students flee from the school. now that's point. there were two armed law enforcement officers at that campus and you see what happened.
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15 dead, 28 wounded. or is it 23? 23 wounded. yes, please. i can't hear you. >> students from all over the country were on the hill the other week for the hearing. they were saying the metal detectors and armed guards at their schools make them feel less safe and more safe. do you think these new proposals could exacerbate that problem? >> that's a subjective statement. i think that is possible. one may feel that and another may feel safer. the question is, is this solving the situation? my answer is, no. what about the workplace? what got me into this was an
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incident where i think 14 people were shot in a law office up in a huge high-rise tower. does every law office have to have security? every business security? every factor or they come in and shoot have to have security? is this the answer america should become an armed camp? i do not think so. i do not think that is the american dream. >> there have been a lot of lawmakers like yourselves who have come forward after the n.r.a. but there has been basically silence on the part of the republicans. is that disappointing to you that they have not come forward? >> let me go back to 93. it was hard. the chairman of the judiciary committee in the house was defeated. the speaker was defeated.
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the n.r.a. went out to target people after they voted for the assault weapons legislation during which period they were very critical of it, it is cosmetic, it is not going to do any good, etc., etc. they were targeting and threatening and they carried these threats out. people were intimidated. i really believe that. i think that fear of intimidation has carried on to today. i come from the biggest state in the union. it is a state where i'm in sync. it takes a lot of courage for a senator from a mountain state with a small state. california is bigger than 21 states in the district of columbia put together. mopte, wyoming, north dakota, south dakota, montana. it takes tremendous courage and backbone for people to stand up. that is the test. leaders lead. we don't follow. we don't follow. we